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The Sounds of New Orleans

Dear Savvy Traveler,

A caller on a recent show talked about traveling with a tape recorder. This brought to mind a road trip I made about ten years ago from Birmingham to New Orleans with my English friend, Ron. Ron is a real jazz buff, and was thrilled to be taking a trip to New Orleans. He had never been there before, so all the sights and sounds were new to him.

Our trip recording is filled with Ron's verbal accounts in his English accent of what we saw between Birmingham and New Orleans -- even down to Piggly Wiggly grocery stores, which he found intriguing by their name alone. Occasionally, my Southern drawl can also be heard as we comment on the sights.

Once we arrived in New Orleans, the tape includes sounds of our footsteps walking along the French Quarter early in the morning, street cleaners and their "colorful" language as they haul trash, and of course, jazz. At one sidewalk café, we bought a recording of a young woman singing jazz standards. Later, Ron dubbed her music over the sounds of New Orleans. Places such as the Café Du Monde with the clattering of morning coffee cups can now be heard with her soft, swinging jazz vocals in the background.

Today, I can still listen to the recording we made and be transported to New Orleans. As your listener said, it's far better than just looking at photographs. We have those too, but the tape preserves the trip for us in ways that a picture can't.

Yours sincerely,

- Linda



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