Fats Domino singing ” I’m-walking-to-New-Orleans”

Every time I hear “I’m walking to New Olean’s” I have a flash back to Bourbon street in New Orleans and my very first time I went there. I was told the very place you have to go is to Pat O Brien’s and order a drink called a Hurricane, then try and drink it all in so many minutes which I found out there was a champion all ready. The Hurricane comes in a special glasses which you can keep.
Being in the Air Force an stationed at Kessler Air Force base on weekends it was discovery time. My drinking buddies from the airman’s club encouraged me to go with them New Orleans. I was excited and could not wait as it was a warm summer night in 1966.
One had a car so we all piled in and headed west to New Orleans. Listening to the sounds of the other I could feel they were just as excited. As the warm breeze gently flowed into the car mixed with the scent of jasmine and magnolia blossoms made the night even more enticing and intoxicating.
Finally on Canal street and avoiding the trolley tracks and lining the median strip and sides of the roads were these large clumps of moss hanging from these trees that look to be at least 100 years old. They reminded me of what you would see in the scary movies and these were loaded with bugs and possibly some snakes. Yet everything worked together being so beautiful and at the same time very scary.
As we got near to the night clubs you could hear ” I’m walking to New Orleans” being played. In an all night parking place we were just a short walk to Bourbon Street. Suddenly we were mixing into crowds of people all coming and going some a little drunk and singing and humming as they walked along or hung on to each other, some riding in open carriages, people were laughing an appeared to be having a wonderful time.
Well you know the very first place we hit was Pat O Brien’s, which was well lit and crowded with wall to wall people. You almost had to swim to get near the bar. Finally I was holding on to a famous Hurricane drink. Sipping it oh-Boy it was every bit as good in taste and what a glass. Being a young airman on a pass you know we attempted to swallowed it down and while ordering another. With the place being so packed we found our self out side, but if was a little cooler and we were all feeling a little buzz from the drink.
Being that the doorway and sidewalks were so crowded the horse drawn carriages with its passengers would be so close you could reach out and touch them but instead they would speak saying, “hello, having a good time by the way there is a party going on further down the street if you want to go just follow us”. It seemed like a few we turned a few blocks we all entered this large fenced in patio surrounded by all beautiful carved wrought iron.
There was so many people site of the carriage we were following. Then out of no where someone said, ” the bar is this way and the food is on a table in the back. The drinks were cheap but everything else was free so my buddies and I were taking our fill.
Then there was this quartet band playing jazz music and even one the song that every one everyone was singing to “Well I’m walking to New Orleans.
Time passed as it does when your having fun, suddenly it was getting day light the crowds had thinned. Looking around I found my buddies one at a time as we walked or better we stumbled out to the cobble stone we were holding up each other trying to sing as we headed to the car. The parking lot attendant woke us up and said, “do you want to pay day rate if not get out of here”.
Every time I hear Fat’s Domino sing “I’m walking to New Orleans” I go into a trance and I’m back in New Orleans wading through the streets and crowds of happy and friendly people.

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