As the coffee maker was making the noises of exploding steam, signaling the end of the brewing process, Laetitia was deep in thought about where to take her group next. She looked around the library of the Emerald Victorian and found a picture book of New Orleans. The pictures had been taken over a number of years, but all were from before the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. She wanted to show her group some New Orleans nightlife, so she selected several night spots in the book and decided to go to each place during the year when the picture was taken.
On the way to New Orleans, the bus stopped in DeRidder, Louisiana, for lunch and a potty stop. DeRidder is a town of roughly 10,000 inhabitants, named for Ella de Ridder, who, at a young age, had run away from her family in Holland and come to the United States. Her brother-in-law, who was a prominent businessman, owned the railroad that passed through the town, and named the town for her. The town’s most famous landmark is its Gothic-style jail, where two hangings were held in 1928, and which thereafter became known as the “hanging jail.” During lunch, Laetitia kept listening for gossip that could be the source material for a limerick and, once again, she was lucky. This gossip was about a young computer-savvy woman in town who did not want to pass up an opportunity to make a buck.
After arriving in New Orleans, Laetitia and her group had dinner at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter and then went out for an evening of jazz, stopping for a while at Preservation Hall, then listening to Al Hirt at Dan’s Pier 600. They capped the evening by having hurricanes at Pat O’Brien’s. Back at the hotel before retiring, she read them the limerick of the day.
A canny young lass named Miss Kidder
Scandalized the whole town of DeRidder
When she did, it was said
Offer her maidenhead
On eBay, to the highest bidder.