NEW ORLEANS — Since he was a teenager, Monk Boudreaux has been donning a Technicolor suit of beads and feathers and taking to the streets as a Mardi Gras Indian, shaking a tambourine and singing songs that have made him famous well beyond the streets of his Uptown neighborhood.
Boudreaux, 80, is big chief of the Golden Eagles, one of an estimated three dozen “tribes” of Black men and women across New Orleans who emerge every spring to show off their elaborate creations in a series of parades. It’s a tradition that dates back more than a century to when segregation barred Black residents from participating in the city’s parades.
“Nothing has stopped us, not even Katrina,” said Boudreaux, an elder of the tribes who is credited as one of the first Mardi Gras Indians to record music. His decade-spanning career has taken him around the world and earned him a Grammy nomination this year.
Monk Boudreaux, big chief of the Golden Eagles in New Orleans.
Members of the groups — also known as Black-masking Indians — design and sew their own elaborately beaded suits, which alternately pay homage to Native Americans who helped protect runaway slaves and celebrate African culture. The suits include patch-like elements sewn with thousands of tiny beads depicting historical figures and scenes, as well as intricate headdresses sewn with colorful plumes of feathers.
Even with round-the-clock sewing, many suits take upward of a year to create, a costly labor of devotion that has kept going despite all the challenges faced by New Orleans’ citizens.
The historic megadrought in the western United States, compounded by human-caused climate change, has curtailed the flow of the Colorado River to critical levels with no relief in sight. However, keen observers predicted this situation over a century ago, so how did we end up here?
Listen in as Ten Across founder Duke Reiter talks to water experts Anne Castle and John Fleck about the history and future of the Colorado River including the 40 million people and 5 million acres of farmland that rely on its diminishing water supply.
Anne Castle is a senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School. From 2009 to 2014, she was Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior where she oversaw water and science policy for the Department and had responsibility for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey. She previously practiced water law for many years with the Rocky Mountain law firm of Holland & Hart.
Sick of having a gun-toting bimbo represent you in congress? … you can either go to the voter registration below and change your affiliation from Democratic to Unaffiliated (and sleep peacefully at night) then you can vote in either primary … Or go to your local court house and complete the change. That’s the only way we’re going to get her out of office.. Democrats don’t have a chance in hell of defeating her. Don Coram is a decent gentlemen and Boebert is a pendejo … Seems the choice is clear.
UNAWEEP DIVIDE — The honey bees are over there, by the organic garden. The peregrines nest up on the cliffs. A mess of metates — Native American grinding stones — are over in the dense pinion. Every winter the elk gather in the meadow below the granite cliffs. There’s a table up in those cliffs, for “sunset dinner on the rocks,” said Paul Ashcraft.
A few months ago, Ashcraft and several of his neighbors at the highest point in Unaweep Canyon saw a plan proposed by Xcel Energy to build a hydro power plant that will help the company reach its renewable energy goals. The plan put a 75-foot dam holding back the edge of an 88-acre reservoir in Ashcraft’s front yard. The proposal also puts his neighbors’ homes and Colorado 141 underwater.
No one lives forever, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that Roger had a good shot at it. Like the rest of us, he suffered pain and loss and doubt, but he usually kept the blues at bay, always looking forward; he kept writing, reading, memorizing new poems, forming new relationships. When another versatile, sports-minded writer, Budd Schulberg, reached his nineties, he gave away his star-studded address book to a younger writer. He had no use for it: “Everyone in it is dead!” Roger kept replenishing his address book, and his life, with new and younger friends. He went to spring training in Arizona and Florida, full of hope, always on the trail of new prospects. His thirst for the sensation of being alive survived the worst. Roger was married for forty-eight years to Carol Rogge Angell, but when she was dying she told him, “If you haven’t found someone else by a year after I’m gone I’ll come back and haunt you.” After Carol died, Roger followed her instructions, and his heart. He began a long and wonderful love affair with Peggy Moorman, whom he married in 2014, and who was by his side until the end.
In the film Sideways, which earned an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Adapted Screenplay and boosted the careers of Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh, those descriptive words aptly captured the character of angst-ridden, wine-obsessed protagonist Miles Raymond, played with self-flagellating glee by Paul Giamatti.
The same words also tell the story of an equally important, but liquid, character in the film: pinot noir. A dozen years later, pinot noir has become a mainstay of the California wine industry, and winemakers credit the film with bringing deserved attention to the varietal, calling it “The Sideways Effect.”
“Pinot noir production in California has increased roughly 170 percent since Sideways was released,” says wine industry analyst Gabriel Froymovich of Vineyard Financial Associates, noting that total wine production has increased 7-8 percent during the same time. “I think people who were into wine saw the passion for pinot noir in the movie, decided to explore that variety a bit, and realized how lovely a wine that grape makes.”
The Sideways Effect is generally credited with depressing the market for merlot wine, based on a memorable line from the movie when Miles colorfully proclaims his disdain for the wine — the back story is that his ex-wife liked merlot — declaring, “No, if anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking merlot!”