Ms Cotton was always in the edge of our photos we have taken at second lines over the years. Wielding a video or still-shot camera she was deep in the mix for the social aid and pleasure club street parties here in town.
Her website is defunct but we did manage to capture a google cache of an old article she penned on Mardi Gras day in Treme;
It aint for everybody but for me, it gets no better than Mardi Gras day in Treme.
We’ve got the Skeletons setting it off at the break of dawn, waking up the neighborhood with their howling and clacking.
This gives me just enough time to get up, get myself together, make snacks for all my visitors (my house is Bathroom Break Central) and a cocktail for myself.
By then its time to catch the Zulu parade passing by Orleans and Claiborne, the epicenter of Black Mardi Gras, on their way back home over on Broad Street.
All the downtown Indians (and some Uptowns ones) make their way over here to holler about their prettiness and be admired.
Baby dolls are prancing around, grills and stereo systems in front of every third house doing their thing. The Candlelight bar, official clubhouse of the neighborhood, is jammed packed feeding and boozing everyone.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Treme without one or two second line parades rolling through, ensuring that we don’t end our day without a good ole shakedown in the street.
Rest in peace Deborah ‘Big Red’ Cotton
The man who shot Ms Cotton, Akein Scott, was sentenced to life in prison.