When you live in a town with 1 and 3/7s home delivered newspapers I guess you can expect the competition to get a little edgy. A case in point was last Wednesday when the front page of The New Orleans Advocate featured an above-the-fold picture of activist Mickey Easterling who was all dressed up and looked like she might have been sleeping while propped up in her chair for a party given in her honor. The only peculiarity is that she was actually — how should I say this? — not among the living at the event. The Advocate’s headline, which should win an award, summarized the situation: 

Socialite Throws One Last Party—For Her Own Memorial

Easterling’s farewell was also covered by Nola.com/The Times-Picayune though more so by the former than the latter. This was one of the days when the T-P had a home delivery, but that picture did not make the front page.

There is precedent for this type of departure, most recently that of drummer/jazz dancer Uncle Lionel Batiste who was viewed propped up against a lamp post when he made his last march in 2002, but one expects the unusual from musicians, including the late Ernie K-Doe, who had a similar departure. They live to be on stage. In Easterling’s case, the term “socialite” suggests something more reserved although her life was flamboyant. The party at the Saneger certainly underscored that.

Was The Advocate acting tastefully by placing this picture at the top of the front page? I don’t know. I do think, however, that had Easterling been able to, she would have had The Advocate cover framed.

We can only speculate that this sort of picture placement would not have occurred in a mere one-newspaper town.

For wherever the philosophical wrangling might take us, Mickey Easterling went out featured on the front page of our town’s daily newspaper. And that is where she always wanted to be.


BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and online.