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These sage words of advice were given to me by a dear friend on my trip to New Orleans in 2008.  I went to New Orleans to visit my friend, Autumn, but to also attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest.  Jazz Fest is the 2nd largest event in New Orleans, Mardi Gras being the first.  Jazz Fest is held over two weekends in late April and early May.  There is a 4-day “weekend” and a 3-day “weekend.”  I went for the 4-day event.

Street Performer near Jackson Square

New Orleans, LA (c) 2008

I arrived in New Orleans on the Wednesday before the party was to start.  Autumn is a wonderful hostess.  She had gathered together all the essentials for someone new to New Orleans.  I had a map of the French Quarter, which was clearly marked with the areas that a 20-something female could wander safely by herself, articles and information on Jazz Fest, a pocket guide to New Orleans and the complete Jazz Fest attendance kit.  For those of you who don’t know, Jazz Fest is held at a horse track.  Flat, no shade and few bathrooms.  So included in the kit was: toilet paper, seat covers and hand sanitizer.  Port-a-Potties far outnumbered the flushing bathrooms. Since I had my own pepper spray and whistle, she didn’t have to add that.

Autumn had to work for most of my visit so she tried to arm me well.  The last bit of advice she gave me went like this: Never date a guitar player, especially the ones you’ll meet here.  They aren’t interested in a relationship or any good at it.  Go ahead and have fun with them.  Sleep with them if you want.  Use protection and don’t bring them home. I thought this was sound, and humorous, advice.  It stuck with me long past that weekend.

If you’re curious, singers are just as bad because many of them are guitar players.  I recall that drummers and bass players were okay.

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