Travelogue: New Orleans House of Bishops Meeting And Other Stuff

I went down to New Orleans on Thursday night after work and arrived about 9 p.m. at my cousin’s home in Metairie, and got to visit with Andy, Charlene, and by godson Austin for a good while before bed. I had to be up early to get to the Sheraton on Canal Street before 7:30 a.m. for my bankruptcy Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar. The seminar was about half good – then again, I am a business bankruptcy lawyer and don’t have much use for the consumer stuff. Not a bad seminar, and included lunch at Dickie Brennan’s Palace Café. Wonderful grilled redfish with potatoes and veggies, good salad to start with, and ended with a wonderful white chocolate bread budding (but it isn’t as good as Cajun Landing in Alexandria).

After lunch, we still had some time as they alloted one hour and forty five minutes for lunch, I went over the Intercontinental Hotel some three blocks away from the Sheraton. The press conference had just ended, and I ran into numerous old friends – Steve Waring, Bishop Scriven, Mary Ailes, David Virtue, and Matt Kennedy to name just a few. I got back to the Sheraton just in time for the seminar to begin again. Got a number of phone calls in the afternoon, including one from Bishop MacPherson wanting to see me before I left. So, we made plans for breakfast Saturday morning.

Despite being ahead of schedule in the afternoon, they kept us there until five. I rushed downstairs to get my car from the valet, as I needed to be a Jackie Bruchi’s at 6 for the StandFirm dinner, and I wanted to pick up some wine on the way. In any event, I managed to beat traffic heading to the West Bank and found a Winn Dixie with an okay selection of wine. I managed to get to Jackie’s early, and was the first guest to arrive. Sarah Hey and Greg Griffith had to call to get directions. Things like going east on the compass on a highway claiming to go west to get to the West Bank and Gretna are admittedly confusing for folks. The Louisiana Drells got off the boat in New Orleans, and going down to the city as kid with my dad was helpful in learning how to get around.

Dinner was wonderful. If you haven’t realized it yet, the conservative Anglican bloggers have tremendous comradery. A little wine, a little laughter and a lot of good food (gotta love Louisiana Italian meals – having steak with lasagne, potatoes, and the same onions grilled in tin foil I make at home. Same kinds of appetizers we have here too – spinach artichoke dip, baked brie with pecans. These kinds of things salve the soul when fooling with these Episcopal Church meetings. Oh, and we are talking about trying to raise $50,000 for coverage of the next Lambeth. What a trip that will be.

I then went to my godchild’s pee wee football game. His team won, 6-0, and it was neat watching these little kids play. They looked like midgets with giant shoulders and heads. Sad part was that one of the key plays was to punt and recover the ball after the ball bounced off the chest of the receiver on the defense. They got more yards that way than any other, and it happened two or three times. I went back to my cousins and crashed after a long day.

Got up in the morning and headed back downtown to meet +Bruce for breakfast at the Intercontinental. Got there as numerous bishops were looking rather preppy heading off to put up sheetrock. I am fairly sure this is the first time some of these folks had ever hung sheetrock, as they should have known better than to dress that way. Ran into +Bennison who had been at my worship table at GC2006. Ran into David Booth Beers, who is, despite how he is viewed in the Anglican blogosphere, a rather diminutive man. He was dressed in a blue t-shirt and white shorts, having come back from City Park where he worked on his serve. He asked me if I knew John McLure, our Diocesan chancellor who I have known my whole life. He called John his counterpart. I thought to myself that John was more like his mirror on the wall at Guantanamo Bay rather than his counterpart, but whatever. Had a wonderful meal with the bishop, who I think was glad to talk with someone from back home on what was going on, where he could say what he thought, and so on. Also, he is at a table with Bishop Barbara Harris for a SECOND triennium in the House of Bishops. You know, the one who got up in front of the house that time and said if assholes were airplanes the House of Bishops would be an airport.

Drove back to Alexandria after breakfast. Got back in time to catch the LSU game on TV. A great game with perhaps the best executed gadget play I’ve ever seen. In any event, I decided not to write anything until today. My next piece will contain my reflections, theories, predictions and what not on the House of Bishops, informed by all of the above, and what I’ve read around the various Anglican blogs.

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