The Joy of the Second Line

May 3, 2020

The Joy of the Second Line


Today would have been the last day of the 2020 Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and we would have been there with a thousands of others, reveling in the culture, cuisine and music, perhaps with a few of you. We had big plans, ’til COVID-19 told us to stay home.

Instead, we are “Festing in Place” with WWOZ’s live stream, eating as much Cajun-Creole cooking as we can and reminiscing. Facebook helped by pushing a memory to me yesterday from 2014’s Jazz Fest. After at least a half-dozen trips to the fest, I had finally gotten up the courage to join the second line dancers in the Economy Hall Tent, where the traditional, swing and ragtime jazz inspires joy and dancing. The Grill-Meister posted this video on Facebook that day, saying, “I wish Kim would loosen up a little…she’s wearing the peach shirt.”

I hope you’ll watch, not because it’s my finest moment (it’s not) but because it conveys the joyful celebration of music and culture that IS Jazz Fest. But if you’re interested in my ‘performance’, I don’t show up until :57, and I’m the lucky chick in a peach overskirt without an umbrella dancing from right to left with the dapper older gentleman and then faking a Charleston move with jazz hands (as one does). 🤗

Seeing this video, and not just hearing but feeling the music brought back my Jazz Fest joy—and then some. It’s ok that we’re not there this year, we’ll be back! And until then, we have our memories to savor as well as the anticipation of more joy at the next Jazz Fest, whenever it may be.

I’ve been saving my pictures of second line dancers from the Jazz Fest trips over the years to create a story about them which would have been posted in this year’s New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation series this year in the weeks before our trip. It’s a story that makes me happy, but I’ll save it for another time. There WILL be another time. We are coming back strong from this coronavirus chaos, but only when it is safe.

Stay home, stay safe, stay sane and stay in touch.

© 2020, Glover Gardens

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