I was really taken aback when I heard the news that Mrs K-Doe, Ernie K-Doe’s wife and frankly savior, died of a heart attack around 3am Fat Tuesday morning. She was a real piece of work and if you never got the chance to meet her or make a stop at the Mother-In-Law lounge on Claibourne than you really really missed something.
Before Katrina, the Mother In-Law lounge was about 2 blocks from my hood. Well it was in my hood but two blocks from the house. I made a couple of stops over there before, just a neighbor dropping in at the neighborhood bar. It was wonderfully tacky and just one of those special only in New Orleans places.
I never made it back after Katrina, but I did stop by one day for some red beans and rice. Mrs. K-Doe was right outside, fixin a big pot of beans for anyone who needed something to eat. Those were in the early days in the aftermath, when food was a luxury around here.
Mrs. K-Doe keep her late husband’s name out there though. The Ernie K-Doe mannequin that she created and drove around town with is clearly one of the things that most people will remember about her. I’ll remember her wonderful spirit and the joy she brought to others. Mardi Gras, like many folks around here, was her time. There could not be a more fitting day for her to move on from this place than Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day. I guarantee the second line going through heaven upon her arrival was a site to see.