Oh! Did Those Good Times Roll!
By Mireille Rita Grovier
“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” “Let the good times roll!” As the Mardi Gras call sounded and the floats began to roll, from the streets of New Orleans to Calzada del Cardo in San Miguel, the contagion of the moment reverberated and came alive. Following the morning Eucharist on Sunday, February 7, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Mardi Gras enveloped the Parish Hall. Oh, the music! Just for starters! As the service ended, instead of the usual postlude, the congregation exited the sanctuary to the organist’s and choir’s rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching in.” The music was electrifying, as the Parish Hall filled with merry-makers stepping in tune to “Saints,” and with quite a number of them donning the masks they had brought with them in anticipation of the event.
Tables in the Parish Hall were spread with cloths, chocolate coins, masks, and banners in the traditional colors: yellow, green, and purple. The scents and unique culinary delights of New Orleans and Mardi Gras filled the air: jambalaya, pralines, and beignets were prepared by Mary (wearing the colors) and Bud Lawrence. Red beans and rice and King Cake cupcakes came from Jay Grovier, attired in his Tulane shirt and hat. N’Awlins chicory coffee with its traditional side of milk replaced conventional Sunday morning coffee just for the day. Handmade tablecloths and beads by Sunni Putnam decked the tables as well, along with horns that were immediately discovered and confiscated by the children in the hall. Satchmo Armstrong serenaded the food accompanied—or overpowered, as the case may be— by the horn blowing of the youngsters!
Memories of past Mardi Gras experiences were shared by members of the congregation. The food rapidly vanished from the trays to jovial exclamations of “Oooohs” and “Ahs.” The expectation was repeatedly and forcefully expressed that this Shrove Tuesday Celebration could only be the beginning of what should become an annual tradition at St. Paul’s. Now we are ready to observe Ash Wednesday and Lent in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For times of services please check http://stpauls.org.mx/. Y’all come back now, y’hear— next year—when “The Good Times Roll” again.