The seed of this story sprouted in my mid 20’s through my 30s, when traveling defined my life and I started keeping “Notes for Something Else”. After years of crisscrossing the globe, I settled down to be an architect and the notes sat for years until my husband and I moved from Minneapolis down to New Orleans in 2012. The city re-awakened a creative spark within me. I started to draw, paint, and write like I hadn’t in years. Some of which I do have to acknowledge our beautiful friend & artist Suzy for, because her sudden and unexpected death also spurred me to create to honor her memory in my head and heart. I never wanted to leave NOLA, it is the place I’ve been seeking all these years. Alas, other forces intervened and it was not to be, at least not for now. My husband and I moved on to South Florida. I felt uprooted, unmoored, and slightly unhinged. Even far away, New Orleans is still a muse, a beacon and an anchor. I thank Harriet Happy Burbeck for this fantastically fun opportunity to turn my Notes into “Bones for Something Else”. I feel like there is much more to flesh out in this story, for my own fulfillment; namely all the characters, their histories/ herstories, and relationships to each other. For now, please enjoy my Frolic through a somewhat autobiographical Fictional Fantasy.
For Suzy and all the Lovely Inspiring Ladies in My Life.
This Mission could possibly qualify in the Guinness Book for the longest running game of Hide and Seek in the history of the world. We are not the same people we were when this started and could never have predicted it would end the way it did. Pondering the preposterousness though, it makes perfect sense. The Mission led us across and around the globe countless times, up mountains and down countless paths. For it to end here, where our hearts at long last feel at home, is both fitting and a relief.
We received that first message of The Mission from Daddy Ose, (as in Ōs), over 15 years ago. It was cryptic. He said to pack our bags and meet him in Chicago, where his big US enclave resides. The Mission might take years he noted, but he’d take care of everything. We were the only ones for the job and that’s how things work in our Ose family. We over-packed our bags full of the necessary and highly impractical things we’d need to survive on the road and we’ve been seeking the hiding Running Ose almost ever since.
You’re probably wondering, who is this Running Ose, and who are ‘we’? Well, we are secret spies. My code name is Koko and my partner’s is Kylie, but most people call us the Korduroy Sisters. Daddy Ose, while only a distant relative, relies on us to find out all the little clues to life that we possibly can with our amazing powers of observation. You could say he’s our biggest fan and we’re his eyes and ears. We were the obvious choice for this mission. We’re never suspected, although often inspected, (we can’t help that). We’ve been secret spies our whole lives, it’s all we know. For all these years now, chasing Running Ose has been our full-time job. You may think we are not very good secret spy seekers to be searching for so long, but the whole point was to keep him running scared. The search and the stories were always more important than the inevitable outcome.
Running Ose, with his many charms and ambitions, was Daddy Ose’s favored son until the day he turned 21. I don’t know what made him flip or why he did what he did when he did it. Maybe he was restless and bored? It doesn’t even matter anymore. You just can’t betray Daddy Ose and expect to live to a ripe old age.
Daddy Ose has pretty much drained his revenge fund money on The Mission, but he doesn’t care. He’s thankful for our diligence and all the adventures we’ve recounted to him along our way. It’s worth it for him. We all still have some respect for Running Ose, (RO for short), for despite his dastardly deceptiveness, he was definitely clever and fast. We were happy to let him to stay one step ahead of us for so long because it was so entertaining and thought provoking. I mean how else do you find out that women are tending goats in Turkey; boys are tending sheep in the mountains of Nepal while the women cut long grasses; children are weaving beautiful silk fabrics in dingy hovels in India; so many stray sickly dogs will break your heart; a family of 4 or more can fit on a single bike; a giant wasp will kill a giant spider in one on one combat; sunsets are beautiful everywhere every night but especially in Thailand from a hammock on a beach side bungalow porch; coconut bowling DOES exist; and Highland cows are the coolest of all cows? I realize the place of privilege that we come from due to being Oses and not all can live the life we have; but there are things best experienced, rather than read about. We are honored to live in and grateful for the abundance of our world. But, I digress.
Running Ose had a wicked sense of humor and I like to think that he enjoyed this game as much as we did and worked very hard to keep it going as long as it did. Enthrallingly, he made this effort while contemplating his eventual unavoidable demise. He was an inspiration for any good bad guy. We also knew that he knew that the minute we started to get bored, the jig was up.
We followed his trail for months through the Scottish Highlands, Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, Brussels beer halls, and Amsterdam’s Red Light District, (of course), before we even caught our first glimpse of him in the Swiss Alps. He was scattering dozens of goats with tinkling bells as he ran under a sky thick and deep with bright white stars. We slept in a barn full of sweet hay that night and dined on hand made cheese. The next morning we picked up his trail, but by some crazy twist of fate ran into some Secret Spy friends we hadn’t seen in 6 years. There was a diversion to the small village of Conthey with them, where we all wore pony tails on tops of our heads in a magical room with every surface covered in empty Marlborough cigarette boxes. We caught up with RO in Rome on a warm summer night where we chased him on motor scooters around fanciful fountains and down streets lined with what must be pound for pound the heaviest buildings of any city on the planet. He just barely eluded us in a flower filled village of northern Greece. So we stopped for some Greek hospitality; tender grilled octopus, olive oil, and ouzo to keep up our strength. We surprised him in a tree house near Olympus, Turkey; but he ran off into the darkness and to our delight escaped by boat through the glowing plankton of the Mediterranean Sea to Israel. We’d always wanted Tel Aviv tattoos. We caught a glimpse of him in a night club there but he slipped out a side door, where he ran into Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrel. Perry quickly conveyed to us the path RO chose, but we lost him down Allenby St. The trail went cold as we passed through Egypt. We took it as an opportunity for a break and instead floated silently up the Nile with a bunch of elderly sun burned tourists. It was a much needed quiet time, permeated with the spirit of awe inspiring ruins like the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Then that wise old women with cascading wrinkles and twinkling eyes who was selling fruit on a sandy street in Northern India gave us some good information on his whereabouts. We caught up to him in Jodhpur, but got sidetracked by the beautiful blue buildings, silk fabrics, and bhang lassis. The first time through Australia was amazing. That place is chockers with Secret Spies. This was before the internet was a part of daily life, so we relied heavily on their information & hospitality. We hitch hiked the whole east coast, just missing him multiple times. Fraser Island was the closest we got to him in on that trip through Oz. We blew a tire on our 4 wheel drive chasing him down the beach, saving his skin. After that near miss we decided to let him get ahead of us. We hunkered down in Harvey Bay for a few days, eating snickers bars for breakfast and staying up late laughing with spy family friends. We spent some time dancing in the sea and swapping spy stories instead of seeking. We followed RO to New Zealand where our younger sister, Ka, joined us for a couple weeks. She was such a great sight for sore eyes. She brought us welcome news from home and was instrumental in uncovering some important clues. She shadowed him to the glow worm filled Waitomo Caves and spotted him trying to blend in with a group of singing kids. We chased him out, but he hopped on an empty bus & took off. We hitched a ride with a semi driver just out of jail and raced after him. The Kiwi helped us tail RO to the ash and steam spewing Mt. Whakapapa, while schooling us in the pronunciation of all things “Wh’ in the native Maori language. We hiked up the snowy slope, but couldn’t see through all the volcanic smoke to find RO. Then there was a random detour to take a tour of a real live licorice factory, (the secret is in the flour). As we left we were loaded up with more licorice than any of us could ever eat on our own. We followed him all the way down the Land of the Long White Cloud to Fox Glacier and beyond. We were so stunned by the natural beauty of this island country and it’s locals that we simply stopped seeking RO briefly and soaked up the sensations & friendliness. By our third trip through Australia and New Zealand things got a little messy, but that was towards the end and you don’t want to hear about that.
The first time back across the Americas, we were relieved he traced a path through Mexico vs Canada, (we’ve never liked the cold, but then again, neither has RO). He could have taught El Chapo a few things about eluding seekers when the two crossed paths around the pool of the El Cid hotel in Mazatlan. Luckily for law abiding citizens, RO kept his secrets, even though El Chapo helped smuggle him across the Atlantic again along with a drug shipment. There was that hilarious day in the maze of the medina of Marrakech, where we all got so lost that we unwittingly ran smack into each other. RO was disguised as a traditional Tuareg, with a full blue headscarf. I’ll never forget the split second it took for us all to realize what was happening. It was the flicker of fear in his blazing blue eyes that betrayed him. He bolted into a slipper stall, toppling a stand of the colorful pointy toed shoes. Kylie and I slipped on a pair each, just like banana peels, and came up crying with laughter. Daddy Ose especially enjoyed that story.
We crisscrossed Asia, slept on the Great Wall of China, boated through the Three Gourges before that damn dam, had raw fish for the first of many times from the floating sushi boats in Tokyo, and duly noted the well built natives of Bali, where a flash flood once forced us to wait things out for days in an upstairs bungalow. On and on we went like this; seeking Running Ose while opening our minds and eyes to the many ways of the world. We ate and drank, danced and laughed, and met people of all stripes and sorts. Each week we would check in with Daddy Ose to fill him in on our latest observations, revelations, updates and stories. We took advantage of the vast underground network of worldwide secret spies. They would put us up, inform us of their own observations, and kept us feeling like we were always with family whenever we started missing our memories of home. After so many years on the road it was getting hard to imagine a thing called home.
Late last year we followed him on a mad dash through Fiji. It was so quick, with so much kava, we almost forgot our precious luggage on a bus. Running Ose seemed to be on his own Mission. He did something extreme. He finally dared step foot back on US soil for the first time since we’d left. For us this was a bold and thrilling move. We really wanted to catch him here and we knew he was daring us to do so. We were never much for planning too far ahead. It usually worked out better to think on our feet, follow the clues and improvise. But we didn’t want to leave the US again, at least not for awhile. It was time to end this so we could all move on. Childhood friends & family had gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced, remarried and divorced again, some had died. It was time for us to do something different. Plus, we were getting bored. We decided to devise a plan…
Having grown up with Running Ose, we knew all of his quirks, habits, appetites, and desires. He had many and indulged all. He could always sniff out a good party and went to great efforts to do so. We often let him find the fun and then chased him off so we could frolic instead. Daddy Ose particularly promoted these types of capers. We decided we needed to bait Running Ose with the biggest best good time of all time. A party he would NEED to attend. One last Hurrah!, for all of us.
Once again we would need to tap into the deep and dedicated secret spy network to help us lay a trap that he would maybe suspect but never expect. We would have to be very careful because Running Ose had his own network of people. They were dangerous people, but we never feared them. They knew better than to mess with us two Oses. However if RO caught any whiff of our trap, The Mission could go on endlessly and we’d had enough. The first person we contacted was Kiki, the Master Super Spy who helped us many times over the years. She provided us with disguises, costumes, communications, delicious meals accompanied by copious amounts of wine, and much needed counsel. Best of all, she was so underground that not even Daddy Ose knew about our relationship with her. The only other living person who knew about our friendship with Kiki was Kanna, and that one moved around so much only Kiki ever knew where she was or how to get a hold of her.
We had our planning meeting in early January at Billy Bob’s honky-tonk bar in Fort Worth, TX. We rendezvoused under the disco saddle, dancing the two-step with some locals. The air crackled with creativity and cowboy boots. We knew that long before this hiding and seeking began, RO had always wanted to go to New Orleans to see the Mardi Gras. It was perfect. What bigger better bumping party is there anywhere?! We had to make him believe that now was his chance. He would not get another. In fact he probably already believed this and it was his Mardi Gras dream that had emboldened him enough to enter the US. We needed to give him a little push though, remind him of his mortality and who was writing this story. We would fire a shot across his bow.
We had word from our network that Running Ose was near the Five Points area in Atlanta, hanging out with some political taggers. Kiki volunteered to fire the shot. She could move around like a ghost and RO would never see her coming. He wouldn’t recognize her even if he did. She slipped off to Atlanta while we made our way to NO to set up camp. Two days later we read in the Times-Picayune about a mysterious hit and run in Atlanta where multiple witnesses all told completely different stories about what they’d seen. This included various descriptions of the vehicle that smashed into a hooded pedestrian and sped away. The ‘victim’, who had been injured, also disappeared without a trace. Authorities were searching for him and appealing to the public. No one seemed to agree on his appearance either, so there wasn’t much to go on. We could have told them who he was and where he was headed. But, we did not.
Suddenly it was Twelfth Night! The official kick-off to the Mardi Gras festivities. We could hear the ruckus of the Phuny Phorty Phellows on the St. Charles street car from open windows of the double gallery house in Uptown where we’d set up our base of operations. Even though it was unusually cold out, we loved the sounds of revelry wafting through the house. Carnival Season was on, our minds were open and ready for whatever lay ahead. The next couple weeks were a blur of activity as we met with other Secret Spy krewes over some sumptuous food, a sampling of King Cake, (we never did get the baby), and a sazerac. That was almost always followed by live music infused with the bluesy soul of NOLA. We got to know the lay of the land; every interesting shop, bar and restaurant. From East Carrollton neighborhood, to Freret, Uptown, the Irish Channel, Central City, Mid-City, the Garden District, The Quarter, The Marigny, the Bywater and beyond; we made ourselves at home. We memorized parade routes & times so that we could predict every exit route RO could potentially take and how not to get trapped on the neutral ground somewhere. We organized our many costumes, and prepared for the eventual handing over of our soon-to-be captive to Daddy Ose.
Our man Conan, down at Check Point Charlie’s, sent us the first word of Running Oses’ arrival to NOLA. He spotted RO lurking around the Spotted Cat during the Krewe de Vieux parade. He was still limping fairly heavily Conan relayed. Kiki had done her part perfectly and the hunt was on! From then on we were especially cautious, disguising ourselves every time we left the wrought iron fencing surrounding the lovely gardens of our base of operations. Because it was Carnival Season, no one gave our elaborate masks a second thought. It was secret spy heaven. We were quickly falling in love with this magical place and dreaming of settling down and finally having a Real Home. This city that encourages creativity in every form, inspires, incubates, cultivates, even demands it; had captured our hearts. Whether it is art, architecture, music, food, or criminal activity; New Orleans is inspiring. All that bubbling creativity boils over from street to street in beauty, absurdity, unexpected delights, chaos, and even decay. The strong sense of community appealed to us. Knowing your neighbors and stopping to chat as you or they sit on a front porch swing is surprisingly satiating. We had always been part of a larger community, but it was one that was constantly inconstant. Some consistency would be a welcome change for us! But we still had a lot of work to do on The Mission and no time to dwell on all that observation and realization.
The Plan was launched on the night of Chewbacchus. Kiki had located Kanna and sent her down to help us. RO had always had a soft spot for red heads and Kanna was a real strawberry stunner. She had spent the last couple weeks wandering around town; selling jewelry on the street, infiltrating the local art scene and a bit of the drug scene where she had gotten to know one of RO’s people. She mentioned to the contact that she was going to catch the Intergalactic Krewe parade and we trailed along to discover if she could flush Running Ose out of hiding. Her regal & revealing Codex from The Guild costume was impossible to miss. She was talking with some Sesame Street aliens on St. Claude Ave when, from the balcony of the AllWays bar, we spotted him sidling up to her. He was disguised as Boba Fett but we recognized the tilt of his head and his walk, especially with the limp. It was hair-raising, everything was going according to plan and everything was about to change. We knew we would need to be able to summon him somehow and this gorgeous red head was just the ticket. We slipped away and let Running Ose get comfortable around Kanna. We were curious to hear what she had to say about his state of mind but we knew we couldn’t have any contact with her until after we had him in our custody.
The next official contact occurred during Muses, it could have been any of the many parades before Mardi Gras Day, but we wanted to combine business with a little pleasure, and what girl doesn’t love shoes?! Kanna had talked her way onto the Sirens float and designed some spectacular throws. We positioned ourselves in front of Superior Grill along the picturesque St. Charles Ave and blended into the throbbing crowd in and out of the shadows of the soulful live oak canopy, bobbing around the parade ladders. When the Sirens float came into view we dove a little deeper into the crowd and waited for Kanna to throw us The Shoe. Due to the overwhelming desire of every parade goer to come away with any Muses shoe, we knew we would have to be aggressive about catching it. We didn’t make eye contact with her, but we saw the red hair and the sparkly cowboy boot in her hand and got ready. She lobbed it high and long. Displaying 2 of the many things she’s very good at doing, Kylie ran fast and jumped high to the sky to catch the arching boot. Despite Kylie’s skill, the boot sailed straight into the hands of a beautiful 6 yr old blond up on a swirly painted pink parade ladder.
Shit. How do you talk a little girl out of a coveted shoe without looking like a complete ass and drawing attention to yourself?? Before we could really react, she gave us a precocious wink and handed the boot to Kylie while singing, ‘This Shoe belongs to you!’ She jumped off the ladder and disappeared into the crowd before we could sing anything back to her. We found out later that she was Kanna’s daughter, Kayla, who’d been planted there to catch the boot. Kanna knew full well that kids are the secret weapon for gathering throws. We made our way back to The Base where we fished the note from Kanna out of the boot that detailed what time and where she was meeting Running Ose on Lundi Gras for a little bit of pre-party pleasure. Through the years we had always allowed RO to have a bit of fun before running him off. We knew he was assuming that Mardi Gras Day itself would be his last day of freedom, that we would at least grant him his Big Hurrah! That’s why we were going to ambush him a day early. The Final Phase of The Plan would launch on Lundi Gras. For the first and final time, we would deny him his fun.
The Zulu Social aid and Pleasure Club Lundi Gras day of celebration dawned cold and grey, a polar vortex was sweeping the country and had traveled from northern Minnesota all the way down to the muddy bottom of the Mighty Miss. We bundled up in our Russian hat and riding clothes costumes and applied make-up that made us look unrecognizably young before heading down to The Quarter to try to relax a little before we wrapped up The Mission. It’s never too early to drink in NO, so we had a quick shot of Fire Ball at Pere Antoine’s to warm up and then continued to wander down to Lafitte’s where we warmed ourselves a bit beside a roaring fire in that oldest of NO fireplaces before moving on again. Unexpectedly, it started to snow. Snow! In New Orleans! It was frighteningly freezing, so we ducked into Pravda and sampled a bit of absinthe and talked with the bartendress for bit, taking our minds off what was in store. We had our plan down pat though, and we were ready. Even so, as with many well-laid plans in New Orleans, the city itself often has a very different idea about how things should, and will, unfold.
With no warning the power went out, all over the city; except for a few streets in The Quarter. The snow had overloaded a transformer somewhere and everywhere went totally dark or came to a screeching halt. Now, New Orleanians are hardy folk and always prepared, so the sound of individual generators started up shortly after and candles quickly came out. Still, an eerie gloom enveloped the city and the snow continued to fall. We decided we had to alter our plan and move up our ambush time. Our hearts pounded with excitement. We made our way to Check Point Charlie’s to check in with Conan who had some news for us. But not before he played us a tune on his harmonica, just because he wanted to. He told us that Running Ose had been spotted dancing on a pool table at the Phoenix. We made our way through the shadowy streets of the Marigny neighborhood until lights beckoned us from an outdoor bar in front of the Phoenix. We pulled our hats low and entered the establishment. A generator kept the music pumping and the place was gyrating. We saw him immediately, shirtless, grinding hip to hip with a scantily clad muscle bound man on a pool table. He looked relaxed and radiant. It was a startling reminder to see him like that, we rarely got this close. He really was a remarkably handsome human specimen. Kylie gave me a knowing look. We’d striven throughout the years to surround ourselves with beauty of any and all sorts. It was a regrettable reality that we would shortly have to destroy something so marvelously magnificent. Despite our consummate costumes, his piercing blue eyes spied us. He leapt from the table and out the back. He had a jump on us, literally! But we knew the place and the orgy of men in the back didn’t disturb or slow us as we sprinted out into the murky streets. It was easy to follow his footprints in the snow. They led us all the way to the Hi Ho Lounge, which also had a generator powering a couple lights and a TV. We slid to a stop and entered the place calmly. There were only a few patrons at the bar. We spoke with the kind bartendress, who was already an old friend, asking about her 4 sons. Suddenly, she screamed and as we turned around there stood a lanky 6’ something strange man with an unusual silver mask over his face and a gun in his hand, pointed directly at us. He fired the words, ‘This is for real! Get on the ground!’ It took a second for that to register, but we quickly complied. He threw a bag onto the bar and told her to hurry up and fill it. She did, tossed the bag back and he was gone. He got $40. The cops were there within minutes, and we stuck around to give our statements all the while knowing that Running Ose was on to us and on The Run. We had lost some valuable time and our cover was blown, but we’d been improvising for years and we weren’t giving up yet; no matter what this crazy city threw at us. Our adrenaline was amped, we were just getting started!
The snow was starting to stick to the roads. We hailed the first cab we saw and asked him to get us to Fat Harry’s as fast as was feasible. Lundi Gras parades had been cancelled due to the conditions, but the streets were still filled with revelers in full regalia carrying flashlights and Go-Cups brimming with Purple Haze or other more potent potions. The cabby veered around stumbling partiers while amusing us with political conspiracy theories the whole way, slipping, sliding, bumping and speeding through the snowy potholed uptown streets. A secret spy confidant sat at the Fat Harry’s bar, he relayed that Running Ose had been spotted near Audobon Park. Exactly where Kanna had told us they’d meet. He was still trying to see her! The streetcars were no longer running without electricity so we hailed another cab and raced down the ever darkening St. Charles Ave as night fell. The snow had stopped falling and an opalescent full moon was rising, providing more light than we’d seen all day. A couple of news bulletins came bursting over the local radio station, WWOZ. The first was that there was a fire at Fat Harry’s. What What?! We had only just left there! That saddened us greatly, as it had become a favorite secret spy stronghold and meeting spot. But the other news was even wilder. Between the power going out and the freak snow storm, an elephant at the Audobon zoo had panicked and broken out of its pen, and through a few other pens . Several animals had followed him out of the zoo front gates. There were red river hogs, a giant ant eater, flamingos and an orangutan roaming the park. This was going to make things interesting.
The cabbie dropped us off near the zoo entrance. There were official vehicles & people all over the place, but no one paid us any mind as they were busy organizing the recapture of the escaped creatures. You could see the animals moving around on the golf course in the moonlight, and hear the occasional elephant blast through the cold night air. It was surreal as well as sublime. We slunk along a tree lined path towards the Mississippi, crossed a set of train tracks, crested the levee and under the bright moon beams surveyed the scene before us. The fresh snow sparkled in the moon light, a light wind sifted fluffy flakes across the gently rolling landscape. A lonesome ship horn moaned down river and seemingly in response the elephant trumpeted back. The sounds echoed eerily across the tremendously wide sky. Nothing else moved, but an enormous lily white llama lingered under a clump of trees. Without even having to speak to each other, we knew exactly what to do. No matter where Running Ose had gotten to, we needed to help catch this animal since everyone else seemed focused on the other side of the park. We later learned the overly large llama was on loan from the Louisville zoo. As of yet, no one had noticed his absence and they weren’t even looking for him. We split up to come at him from two sides. Both Kylie and I are experienced ropers and happened to have lassos on us as part of our costumes. Kylie got especially close to him before he bolted my direction, a couple swift swings and a strong toss sent the rope over his neck just as he passed by. I grabbed hold and hopped on his back, which made him decidedly unhappy. Wheeee! We took an exhilarating ride around The Fly. The fresh air, and frenetic pace flushed through me, made me feel so alive. Hysterical laughter rang out above the pounding and crunching of llama hooves. For a second I thought maybe it was my own, until I noticed Kylie sprinting towards the embankment and a black shape speeding up river. It was Running Ose! The llama was calming slightly, and responding almost imperceptibly to my commands. Hanging on for dear life I directed him towards the scurrying shadow, and removed the rope from his neck to prepare for another’s. I wrapped my wrist up in the long llama tresses, and started to swing the rope. Whoosh! Whoosh!, over my head it whirled. Running Ose had to hear it as he sprinted on. He was fast, but not llama fast. We bore down on him and my rope floated above him for a moment, his last moment of freedom forever frozen in my memory; and then cinched down over his shoulders. He fell to his knees where he didn’t fight or plead, for he was laughing too hard. His fate sealed, he faced it fearlessly. He was still an Ose after all. Kylie was there in two shakes, she quickly tied his hands with her rope and emptied his pockets. He flung his beautiful face to the now clear starry sky, flashed us his brilliant smile and shouted, “Well Done Korduroys!” But, of course! HA! It was the only expected event of the whole day.
No more Hiding! No more Seeking! We were filled with overwhelming relief, sadness, and joy.
The llama pranced around, finally tolerating his passenger, and stuck out his tongue before spitting on Running Ose. It was our turn to laugh hysterically. We heard the whir of a chopper in the distance. The sound is not uncommon in New Orleans, but we knew it was Daddy Ose on his way to collect our prisoner.
Of all the amazing things we experienced over the years, catching Running Ose in a snow covered park in the deep-south on the back of a super-sized llama escaped from the zoo?! This took the king cake and could only happen in New Orleans; where anything and everything is conceivable, encouraged, and likely to occur. Kylie & I were never going to leave, we were home, and Mardi Gras Day was still on the horizon.