Allen Kimball went with me to interview the owner of the Museum of Dance and Feathers. I got a history lesson from the King himself. I also got a lesson in comporting myself professionally as a photographer, a very gentle reminder to ask before turning on my recording equipment and taking pictures. I've been trying to be less timid over time, but today I was reminded that it is possible also to be too bold.
My host was incredibly gracious and gentle while I repeatedly tried to get a grip on the local definitions of family and church which overlap almost entirely with social aid and pleasure clubs, and which are all really "just"--as if "just" had long enough arms to embrace such a place--at any rate, "just" community. Here community is a set of networks bleeding into each other. It is a network of families and churches, many descendants of sugar cane and cotton farmers from Mississippi and rural Louisiana. They have shared blood lines and brought a tradition of gardening to the city before urban gardening. King Lewis said, "Here, it's just gardening." He calls himself the pied piper of his family, drawing people back from where they scattered after Katrina. He sees himself as the pulse of the community that won't quit beating.