By Karl Bremer
The healing power of music and friends was out in full force at Wilebski’s Blues Saloon in
I never set out writing this blog as a
kind of thing, but things
don’t always work out as planned. So rather than the usual steady diet of slings
and arrows at local political miscreants, investigations into fraudsters trying
to buy votes, pardons or legitimacy, or occasional forays through musical doors,
today you get another Update from the Cancer Desk. Caring
First, the medical lowdown. A CT scan several weeks ago showed the tumors on my liver had shrunk since chemotherapy had begun (the tumors have metastasized from the pancreas to the liver, thus the “Stage 4” diagnosis), which was a good sign. Another scan next week will determine the future course of treatment after the eighth of 12 planned chemo sessions. That could include surgery and/or radiation. Stay tuned.
Now for the fun stuff. Yes, there is an up side to getting cancer. In this case, it came through the love and dedication of the Krewe of DADs, a whole gang of great musicians and hundreds of friends. I’m a founding member of the Krewe of DADs, which modeled itself after New Orleans’ notorious Krewe of MOMs, a rogue Krewe among the Crescent City’s elite other Mardi Gras Krewes that ultimately coalesced around the New Orleans-based Radiators. The Krewe of DADs adopted Halloween as their annual celebration of music featuring the Radiators and we’ve hosted our own Halloween masquerade balls on this end of the
Mississippi River for a quarter century. All but
last year’s featured the Radiators, but after they disbanded in June 2011, the
New Orleans Suspects, a new group formed by Radiators bassist Reggie Scanlan,
ably filled the bill.
L to R: Curt Obeda, Tony Glover, Camile Baudoin &
Paul "Newport Slim" Toracinta.
Besides helping with the Krewe’s regular musical events that brought in some amazing talent to the
Camile Baudoin, Tony Glover, Gene LaFond & the Wild Unknown, Paul Metsa & Cats Under the Stars, Curtis Obeda and the Butanes, Tim O’Keefe, Peter Ostroushko, John Pasternacki, Paul Toracinta, Harold Tremblay, Willie Walker, Willie West.
In an ironic twist of fate, Reggie Scanlan had to cancel his trip up from
Friends came from near and far, some I hadn’t seen in 30 years or more, to help take the sting out of losing a year or more of fulltime work and good health. It did that and more. It was kind of like getting a snapshot of your future through the lens of your past. Or an episode of “This Is Your Life.” Seven hours of pure positive energy permeated the room on
and I didn’t miss a minute of it.
In situations like this, you’ve got to treat the mind as well as the body. Thanks to all who organized, attended, performed, donated, publicized or otherwise participated in this celebration of survival. I promise a good return on your investment.
Videos by David Fried
Photo by Paul Sand