It was our handshake that sparked this connection. You see, Pat Green did not let go of my hands once we shook. In fact, after about a minute, I didn’t want to let go. I could have held her hands even longer. No words were necessary in this instant. All of my grandparents have passed, and for a moment, I felt reconnected with all of them. Pat’s smile drew me over to her, as she stood with her daughter Holly and son-in-law Javier on Jefferson Ave, preparing to watch her first Mardi Gras parade ever.
Yes, 93 years young and her first ever Mardi Gras parade. I was masked and should have been loading my float in the Krewe of Druids parade. However, I pulled a classic New Orleans linger move. Down the way I noticed a group of 610 Stompers assembling and felt the urge to take a pre-ride selfie with some of my favorite people of Mardi Gras. One thing I’ve realized is each and every Stomper is an amazing human being just like Dorian, who you met in Episode 1. So I lingered for a moment to grab this selfie:
I was bursting with energy, feeling like there was no other spot in the world I was supposed to be in, when I noticed Pat smiling from ear to ear in this beautiful piece of clothing covered in autographs. I was in the right place at the right time, and I had to connect with her. Our time together was very short, but I will never forget the moment when Pat held my hands, smiling. After taking a very necessary selfie, I added her son-in-law from Key West, FL on Facebook and shared I would be in touch.
A few weeks later I re-connected with the family to set up a time to bring Pat in for lunch as a guest on The Magic Hour. She agreed, even with never actually seeing my face in person. My wife drove Pat to the lunch and they shared a laugh because Pat had no idea what I really looked like underneath my Mardi Gras mask.
Since our brief connection on Jefferson Ave, Pat has quickly become part of our family. Neither of us has immediate family in New Orleans, and I have no doubt our paths crossed for a reason. We have started to regularly meet for oysters, her favorite food. We’ve attended a Glen David Andrews show on Frenchman St. where Pat joined Glen in a version of “Rollin Down the River” with the most passion and soul I’ve ever witnessed live. I join her for a weekly coffee and Danish at the Poydras Home where she resides, just a few blocks from my home.
As you will learn in the video, jazz music is an enormous part of Pat’s life. In fact, her desire to be surrounded by jazz is the reason she has landed in New Orleans. Just last week she was featured in The Advocate in a great article from her time at French Quarter Festival. Pat attracts life, bringing enthusiasm to living that continues to amaze me the more time I spend with her. She embodies what it means to be young at heart.
One of the neatest things to come from our interview is my involvement in helping Pat plan her living jazz funeral second line. Her family has called on our connection, as I can help them with feet on the ground to turn this dream into a reality. Many pieces are coming together, and I hope many who read this post will join us once we announce this beautiful event. Until then, please join us at the next The Magic Hour event to meet Pat in person, as we all need a little Pat Green in our lives. She is truly magic.