Happy Mardi Gras

Chances are, where you live it’s just Tuesday, the day after a Federal holiday. Maybe you recognize the day before the beginning of Lent as Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day, if you happen to live in Liberal, KS).

From Mobile to Galveston, though, today is Mardi Gras.

And in New Orleans, in particular, they have reason to celebrate.

Former Congressman Bill Jefferson and his brother Mose have both been convicted on bribery and racketeering charges. More trials loom for other members of the criminal enterprise which was the extended Jefferson family.

It’s the end of eight years of Ray Nagin. His term began with the promise of reform and renewal but will remembered for his failure of leadership during the city’s worst crisis. Let’s hope, for their sake, that Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu is an improvement.

For New Orleans, and the region which includes the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist, as well as the Mississippi Gulf Coast,the trauma of Katrina is 4-1/2 years ago, and the rebuilding continues.

But more than anything, they’ll be celebrating the Super Bowl victory of their beloved Saints just nine days ago.

I’ve followed the Saints since 1978, not always as their most loyal fan. The city has a quasi-religious attachment to the team. For me, they’ve given some depth to the story of Moses and the Israelites wandering in the Wilderness for 40 years before making it to the Promised Land. The Saints have been in that Wilderness for 43. Way to go, Saints.

“Bless You, Boys!”