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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Sheriff Santas...Serving It Up Right!"

A lot of faking going on in this sketch...
The Sheriff's Department of St. Tammany parish here in Louisiana put on their own Christmas extravaganza complete with singing, dancing and a seasonal comedy act. At least, I think it was intended to be a comedy act of the season. For all I know, they might have been serious. My mom and I got there pretty late and so we didn't get any turkey and stuffing…

They ran out!

But the best part of the celebration was checking out all the great costumes that the entertainers, as well as the audience, wore. Most of the older folks that live on the north shore of Lake Pontchatrain are transplants from New Orleans. Many of them lost everything in the hurricane of 2005. Its name was Katrina. Of course, Christmas is just a rehearsal for the real celebration... Mardi Gras.

For this generation, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if many of these creative outfits are designed red and green on the outside for Christmas and, like those reversible belts that has one color, usually brown,  on one side and black on the other, the inside of their costumes are the festive Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

The best Christmas costume I saw was a woman dressed as a Christmas tree, which was very well thought out and executed. She must have sewn waves of green lace in concentric circles like the branches of spruce or noble pine tree. The lace branches faded into a green "dunce cap" that sat on top of her head, culminating with a hovering, illuminated angel. The green lace "branches" were complete with ornaments and blinking lights. It truly was a joy to see and to feed off of such creativity when so many are, for one reason or another, a bunch of " bah humbugs."

I brought my sketchbook, but wished I had brought my camera instead in order to photograph all that creative energy. I did find the time, while my mom was still chowing down her lunch, to capture, as best as I could, the strange symmetry of plastic capped officers in uniforms loading round paper plates, in unison, with Christmas cheer.

Copyright 2014/ Ben Bensen III