I first discovered New Orleans at seventeen, in the summer of 1951. I had been fired from my job with the Smith, Brown, and Root Construction Company (now a subsidiary of Halliburton) after only two weeks of lugging railroad ties between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, because I was too young to work overtime. I was probably lucky.
So I did what any Jesuit prep-school graduate would do; I wired home for money. Then I took a Trailways bus...
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