The final blocks of the Money Wasters second-line on Basin Street below Claiborne brought out the most enthusiastic dancers. There were already large crowds in front of Kermit Ruffin’s Treme Speakeasy, which was the ending point for the second-line, but like the end of all good things, the people were reluctant to go home.
As we approached the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club’s headquarters on Broad Street,we ran into a huge crowd of people standing on the median near the club. Tents had been set up, and campaign signs were everywhere, as the Zulu club was having apparently both a festival and an election for their officers. They welcomed our second-line enthusiastically, but we stopped only briefly there before continuing along Broad Street to the northeast.
This painting of a Black Indian Wildman was on the door of a house along the parade route for the Money Wasters second-line. In the Black Indian gangs of New Orleans, the “Wildman” is one of the “offices” of the tribe, along with the “flag boy”, “spy boy”, “trail chief” and “big chief.” On Mardi Gras Day and St. Joseph’s Night, these men perform certain functions related to the ways in which tribes encounter each other and how they ritually battle through chanting and dance.
The TBC Brass Band is arguably the most accomplished of the second wave of young brass bands to emerge in New Orleans, and this band is always in demand for second-lines and other public functions in New Orleans. I was thrilled to see that on this particular Sunday, they had a young snare drummer who looked to be no older than 9 or 10 years old, for this is the way the culture is passed on to younger generations.
The Sunday morning before a second-line is always full of excitement and anticipation. Food trucks and other vendors are beginning to set up, and club members, musicians and second-liners all begin to gather around the place where the members of the parading club will “come out the door” to start the parade.