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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Quiz: And the day before Lent is called . . . ?

cj Sez: After weeks of parades with brilliant kaleidoscope floats, wonderful cacophonies of marching bands, and thousands of carnival throws, the revelry all comes to an end on February 13—Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday.

  Plush toys, shiny beads, and tasty Moon Pies are the favorite things masked krewe members throw from their parade floats to the outstretched hands of excited revelers.

 Knights of Revelry Krewe    

  What is a krewe you ask? 

  Krewes are clubs or organizations that exist to celebrate carnival. They introduce their ceremonial kings, queens, and royal courts at elegant formal balls.

Little history lesson:

  “Mardi Gras” is French for "Fat Tuesday." In Mobile, AL, however, Mardi Gras has evolved beyond a one-day celebration into a weeks-long carnival that begins on January 6. New Orleans’ claims notwithstanding, Mobile is the birthplace of America's original Mardi Gras.

  The first celebration took place in 1703 and was revived after the Civil War when Mobilian Joe Cain, dressed as his imagined Indian Chief named Slacabamorinico, paraded through city streets.
 (unknown photographer, photo in public domain)

  When I lived in Detroit, Mardi Gras was a one-day affair that many in the area called Pączki Day. Pączki (pronounced "punch-kee" or "ponch-kee") are Polish pillows of pastry with a variety of possible fillings—my favorite was cherry. Detroiters lined up outside of bakeries to buy dozens of the special treats on Fat Tuesday. 

   A generous co-worker in the office next to mine would get up at 5 a.m. to make a paczki run to his favorite bakery in the Polish community of Hamtramck where he might have to wait in  line in sub-zero weather, in the snow, barefoot (ha ha, not) for up to an hour to bring in several boxes of goodness for the crew (that part is true).


For readers and writers:

  Mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE. . . March 23, 2024 . . . 

for the upcoming one-day reader and writer event—The Mobile Literary Festival at Mobile’s Ben May Library in conjunction with the Mobile Writers’ Guild. Published authors will present panels on character development, setting, marketing, and plotting. Pick up a book and have it signed by the author! And best of all, this amazing literary festival is FREE. For more information, click this link: 

  Which is the correct spelling: “gray” or “grey”? Well, it depends… on where you live and how the word/spelling is used. Find out more here:


  Okay, that’s it for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for a happy and safe you and yours.


Now some words from my sponsors:

Mardi Gras season is alive and well in Mobile. 
Laissez les bons temps rouler

  Available! These two Mobile Writers Guild anthologies are filled with wonderful short stories and poems to celebrate upcoming special days. They each have a theme, but the content is perfect for any day of the year.

  Also for your to-be-read stack: My novels, THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA are fast-paced, thriller/suspense stories with sassy banter and a touch of romance. The books are available on Amazon or through your favorite eTailer and bookstore. Got a library card? You can read the ebooks free from Hoopla.

  The Haunted Book Shop has signed copies of my paperback books in stock. TO ORDER, contact:  

  If they happen to be sold out, tell them you want a signed copy and I'll run down to the shop and sign one. Or shoot me an email. I have a small stash.

➜ Follow me on . . . 
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