I originally posted this on Facebook, but wanted to put it here for posterity. Who knows, someday I may delete that Facebook account.
Almost 40 years ago, me and my best friend in high school, also my college roomie, decide to hitchhike from Texas A&M at Galveston to New Orleans. (We were young, sometimes stupid, and things were different back then.)
NOLA is a six hour drive from Galveston. It only took us about eight hours to get there, thanks to a long ride from a trucker who was wired out of his mind on speed. It took almost three days to get back.
We arrived on Bourbon Street around 3:00am, took in the sights, and found this park next to the Mississippi River where we laid on some benches to take a much needed nap.
A couple of hours later, I was woken up by a New Orleans cop poking me with his night stick. Roy was spread eagle on the next bench, getting frisked by another of New Orleans finest. After finding no contraband, they loaded us in the back of their car and literally drove us to the city limits, let us out, and said, “Go back to Galveston, and don’t ever come back to New Orleans.”
I’ve been back to NOLA a few times in the ensuing decades, but I’ve never returned to this spot until today. I don’t think I’ll ever come back to this park, it’s too painful.
Roy died in June of a cerebral aneurysm. We reminisced about this trip often. I don’t think either one of us ever told our parents about this little adventure—they probably would have lost their minds.
I wish we could have come back here together. I miss my friend. Rest In Peace, brother. You were a champion among men.