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oath the production of this program was made possible in part by a grant from the alabama state council on the arts and the national endowment for the arts a federal agency and more george
takes full landfill and a we'll have an association with autograph it's been stunning thing the pacific coast it's it's it's just that for an animated arnold advantage it a way because as i all day honestly the
sixties i think so physically physically fit the polls all of our thoughts and historians told us when we're on how margolis first celebrated immobile alabama you know the celebration was firmly established even before the wall and
they will be always usually a lot of alabama's bill both the celebrations commemorating simple you're going to be you know it's baseball i mean you can it's an art form which is a part of the life of the city and its important economical in the city each mystic society of course puts on its own parade it hayes well the parade and it has to have a place in which to build the
parade it has the nation's artists who create the parade as hayden artisans who build bigger the floats and so cool hand it is a living art form in the city which our contribute economically to the city's important economic where nothing unusual mr cohen and you know when they aren't welcome that as a builder his daughter a day harrison is a float designer mark roth is virtually their life i've been around it being a kid kayla come and enjoy it once it's a new line it's just kind of i mean
you grow up and you're around all this really never imagine it yeah and into the slightly lack of the finale in two thousand we both qualify as just a sculpture park in the talks tor and then they can write to our industry from a new recall list of all of them some of the permanent humans may nine in
an artistic what they're saying that they are the sun and i am really goes about act quickly in accepting that's a world own sense that to me it is on the contrary that produces certain day and sometime to your monies are going out alone in you really are and really corporate work really well as both on a photo of thought about it because i think we get we have all of saying around here created faith is still a bit differently to say don't tell george you as you have about three different name george
i starting in nineteen thirty eight dr dre have built not with all the bottom at a low then in nineteen fifty that they go the stripers parade and i'm a bill that thread for thirty years and then our ipads add the man but i didn't really quick i kept on unarmed and don't do in the coming cowboys for about thirty years and are now i'm wondering what the pharaohs try to get them started though it seemed like gentle get out of it and when that's not only going to live is it all right other four builders and designers of the beales past have achieved legendary status the works of edmond a cell and john augustus walker are still remembered then i'm carl does so was an
artist their fathers are you they're training in europe in france and in england he came down it immobile handgun he said truth and that is an artist life in this country is not a happy life that is very difficult to make a living as an artist in this country and he became attracted to mardi gras and he realized that here's an art form could be an art form so he took to designing and creating martin for what it is and he put on the floats on the streets of global yield some of the greatest floats it ever been built anywhere they were absolutely magnificent john augustus walker was another of the leading designers of will be upgrades and asked quote my favorite parade of this goes way back into the nineteen thirties and
that was as tarzan movies don't talk about but the reason the beales mardi gras go back much further than the cell and walked back to the origin accountable itself before the current they practice of christianity with a pagan agricultural festivals of egypt and rejoicing of spring these celebrations of fertility and they're dancing street parades spread to greece rome into the present day spain france germany that just begun custom calendar by making a brief period of feasting and festivities receiving the potential season it was given them in an album and singing leaving were forsaking let her know bomb and eventually became a kind of violence in modern italy on a barn in france an article in india the evolution of
ramadan masked ball in england in great point and the water meaning that ox with a budget deal in the us led a procession of the movement with a bad part's written by youth will davison was the last thing they want that's that was this might be above water that led to our present day lenders a period of forty days of potential observant usually connected with vast abstinence extraordinary works of charity or a prayer that prepare for the great christian celebration of easter well fortunately it which is forty days brought to east of what he's done is the first sunday after the first woman after the beginning of spring which is that we first brought and so it
depends on a peninsula just when we had this thing how we can live with french found immobile and seventeen to eleven and even before the founding of the city and there are indications of effect that mardi gras was a very much a part of their lives that they made some sites around your mardi gras i think probably the first time a modern girl sullivan in a wireless recognized on the coast was about march the third sixty nine and then in fact it was noted in the journal called the room by a jesuit priest and capital with his hair in the year sixty
nine and seventeen dr fried chick for us and the handle founded the state was what was then called what is that all lawsuits will appear rather when the city moved its present site that literally an instant the french initiated the tough girl celebration the parade of the fed adults been going on for centuries in france and players especially but askew and it was assembled symbolism of the last minute before the onset where they would parade through the city of moby award this huge they can show a oddball in arts and he did that and then brought over plans the founders story on legos is that it was so david it took sixteen and the poet so as early as seven
eleven him and his presence it a modern reservation three of its original size well obviously that creates new orleans new orleans founded that was moderate it's content infusion in the locals because that was the pure french type celebration of nautical it was not the mystic societies we have today the mystic societies that we have today was for more later on revamping came about quite by accident but they had their influence one freckle when the spanish tacoma whalen seventeen eighties they wrote with down the custom of torched it corrodes so far this took place on the epiphany in six which is traditional beginning of the carmel modernization which lasted a lot of the vote and seventeen eighties we had two celebrations going on that pad and what our local people today would turn moderate and then
we come to a new year's eve and they deemed thirty and that's when a group of young men here in moby you were celebrating new year's eve the way it had been for sometime and that is by visiting the steamboats that were tied up on the waterfront the steamboat held open house and the young man of the town wind up and down the waterfront partaking of hospitality adjusting boat captains in the hospitality likud of course when i went through they happen to combat a hardware store and they solve the rights holders and shovels and so they each picked up a cameo and rakes and shovels and hoes and proceeded on their merry way through an area of somalia live with although i am go ahead and they say well
even a call from a lot of them right and so that was the beginning of the first miss fix society there was probably not a craft and maybe not more than end of this frantic now on that music is to celebrate almost every cannot come to magnolia cemetery where michael choir is buried and we're not parents ms denise johnson vincent on there and then a string of mardi gras beads with somebody has come and placed on the monument so they had not forgotten michael cry now counted and had somewhat on as they celebrated for me a video that they became very tired and melvin as they can and they stop taking in new members not even their sons who look
young stripers and they caught been so minimal so after ten years that this young man and they said hey let's get together and all our own organization so they all got together and sadness and then i met will assist colleges practices that animal and chanin says are called the strike and the businesses that and let them know i'm in and women and then the new post comments this hour in his asian take his name from the fact that cotton of course was being immobile and a young man who wanted to be successful started in the pot business and are narrow is the first thing that was done with a young man who was headed up in the cotton business wasn't he was put down on the waterfront to
strike that has been marked a pardon the houses they were white and that society has survived it still is your immobile his fortune and it is the oldest most of society and mark of the cabin and faded out the cabinets of these were consistent they would take any body and survive and they'll die and that that was the end of that held that the people in all and in the typical of the beads that i had been hearing about how a lot of celebrations over here and they asked a group of us to come out in new orleans and show will be an actor organize one of these mystic societies well this group from a cadbury and then the strike of all in about eighteen because i went to new orleans and follow to entertain an outline of these people what the bid now to get them and just said no but the
structure that we now know as modern rose exported from our religion wants and maybe president bishop of new orleans' archbishop philip hannan has a kind of a funny anecdote that he will get into it that's when he and i both in the same assembly and he's speaking publicly he will acknowledge me on more than one occasion has said an archbishop lipscomb for more realistic today and it's true that mardi gras started immobile and later it was exported to new orleans and i just want him and all adult in order to turn that water back to get us during the war between the states the mystic societies functions as well as margaret celebration intro tuesday were discontinued at the conclusion of the war union troops occupied the city and the beanstalk physically and morally the open gay activists soon revive victims had to say at the main justice will cain joke a nevada marble
and mysticism joe cain was a well known mold medium he was gifted eu like music he had some ability in the arts apparently the morning ends i asked him out for it he just low for a new low a masquerade well it happened that down in the darkest days of the beginning of reconstruction have been civil and joking activities and what happens when the strikers have been suspended and hoping the girls the south and lost the war what else and it is if this is still playing in turn himself goes to slaughter them and he said that was a typical and nineties and won
speaking portuguese the story of the reason this person who personified the unions and the only place in the city you get the figures what about rentals that in a charcoal alley and sits in our other so now you have this in the southern united states icann of
standing in troops because it in or you know what the length of a new and in insane directly to them as women and as he proceeded to go through the city the citizens came out and slow and immediately picked up on the inside job and basically that one act of the group of seven guys' turn the city from failing than an adoption and the sparrow that to fade into an well also warmer and now no not not that that would still have the tensions over the joke and then his beard and while mick and he was kind of an obscure person in history because he was there with a lot of tall big center on the people concerned with michael craft is the first mystery in the world and so deny for i
got a lot of that in that and research on that up his very long military and started trying to be removed that they are intended to do about twelve years to get that accomplished on sunday before modern offshore fund in nineteen sixty seven they had a grand funeral procession it was a re barreled job carrying what turned that we're in a large open field position on wasn't that many people in the parade just a handful of folks think as a pitcher that you spoke to of the parade and everything and grades in and one shot victim there is a larger crackdown after graveyard had flown some of the job gains family i'm from california and something about that and they had a service and rededicating know his body his final resting place and that of his wife on iraq and found out later that year they buried in the wrong place
and digging up in prison ordered back across the graveyard improving where he is today and then fought for the ban have an unusual to people around will reopen there three times the next year the situation was very very small and then one day all of a sudden for today it is an amnesty and fundamental him as well and now a little bit of a sudden is going to fall out of joe cain they came some new mystics assigns one kaine's million widows enjoy these
days and from job gains for writing spry the order bs and then the seller uses mis this added are the only society so the young infant mistakes so therefore this information has to be more more innovations continued to perform and
parades will still exist in some which are not the first lady is very diverse origins and again found themselves doves isn't quite a lot of the detail of the people who were originally the mystic societies were extremely secret now one low may not mystique says that while they there would miss that means that they are devotees of the members is mysterious that is to the public and the vault they amass an entertaining banter that obama but they do not reveal their identity and so it is it is this year
is all because they do it so that will be you know is very low all this mix well it's meant to be a sacred that pretty much it's not not quite the secrecy it was probably fifty years ago and they say the stories of the meaning of life now the secrecy only some historians say that the lessening of secrecy has come about since world war two things are still true today voting well no i am stand for the author of myths who founded in nineteen sixty seven the voice for it i'm always an eighteen sixty eight
remove the confession said that the merchant decided to lease going on but always in bali jason baer is the order of minutes and will implode begins its parade every year they were our allies so immediately after the civil war that they still have that on their mind so that that gives them a new album a broken column which indicated the confederacy and then they have this idea of carnival and get it was that the folly was chasing death the death was jason fallen nobody has really decided which it is others say it's redemption a column of life
someone passing on living in even though there's no doubt that fight is is trying to dispense with death as he chases that's around a column their amped up korean and lead to me you know one thing this fall it will be prepared but they don't have clients it's quite a problem getting them now because we don't have that many slaughterhouses want head with one of the local ones and he has to make arrangements of tupelo mississippi to get to let and the estimates range has to get a lot of them now sometimes it's not a very pleasant task to take britain and they file and there's an order of notes and would love to spill pummeled way all clothes were
once thought i knew it the news came from that more present for that was only place around here where they have a lot of mucus and so every year there was a big to do in the news being brought from that more prison reform farm to pull the floats and down because mules disappear and so then they had to start using tractors and he can build floats then when they were deployed in kenya and lived in the news the new orleans has the larger celebration with more balls in the crowd and the millions who have huge problem and twenty five thousand or so we catch more runs those credits the balloons leads and candies thrown from walking point is that there is a special role that has become synonymous with most real smart people
a live mannequin and tennis happen someone few years ago the search throw moon pies from the flow and just lay turning only if he had to stop in this building getting a parade on the street is complicated so of course you have to play than one thing there's nothing worse than it did really exciting experience and then the next problem is you have an operation that is that is that that's not to say that
on hold them for some people like the exercise of the members of the society who like a lot of the generations sometimes a young man who like to ride a horse don't have the chances of the bullet but the republicans the man to blame is a thing of this isn't just a minute nine one season seven that day and now thinking so
sad maybe than that i'm a live in the south on soundbite of a lot of john c o p o t a it originated at atlantis some of all workers ronald the meeting the tree has been very a few editions of the others might ask why mr liam on someone moles laid them in place and the bass really the europeans he's the end but the thing that i think is needed is that we got entice young people to enjoy plain same thing we do see us on the street because it's
so little so fifty years you know anything is and find her what what happens in some of the most biting satire that you're
actually in the parades often directed inwardly at the person or the organization doing this week i arrived at the law's a performer he performed in men's rules and services is that and he was the man who was most interested in giving a turn to mardi gras which had it had not headed that i think they felt that modern rob was beginning to take itself a little too seriously when he was a man who felt that modern hero of smallest adopted from revelry and just knocks the common people investing you can lock in that at things are going on within the community and his government to bring together thanks in sin
and success in the same conditions and can learn from the founding of the comics and the comic cowboys filled with comic cowboys little italy in which they poke fun at what it well about what may be the president of the united states but usually its politicians and we'll be there for years the politicians need its deal with that mass field of most importance isn't that one big thing we have to remember when they get here for years the faith they can't come here like every other migrant route concert for dinner before the
diplomas and so they will bring high school bands in here and so what we're trying to clean up the final eis in think about what we have to get this all done there's a band play in the line so well you can think and as drunk girls in nineteen eighty one the title of imperial designer failed run their protege of the late leon's i'm deena moby omar mcgraw designers symbolic dreamed up the idea of the lavish decorating the walls held in places like moby awards civic auditorium henderson we do is create the stage set and all of the openings advances tell a story in the end up with the stage set for hitting twenty two games twenty two dances the frescoes on january the six fifth in january six and there were sixteen i had twenty two jobs it's frightening that there are that many that close because you can either memorize all the
stuff that needs to be done you can even make the list of things to do and so what i do is i am i employ everyone who will work and red trucks and ran out or in storage space and around a warehouse right here at the auditorium and just just go right into it because it's a hard fast as we can we have been waiting on stations with the opposition but only bought a vespa and only because you know you want to interview why tracking his sales has said that i mean i am i thought of that there's been
differences that's how does that law which jurors weigh what am i get away and i get a bad major sales and they feel that in three four years so they're thinking they're thinking about these things so they are talking at all often find that next year pretty much like now not because it's so important for the perfect people is so important that's the way it was join fallout from the hands of certain people they were displaced and they just blow out the company is getting rid of the party manuel
valls are closely linked to the bat because when selected a young would be all women that their debut into society volunteer see the light remember because as cleaning nineteen thirty paul ion batteries older not just act yeah i think people have certain psychological needs that need to be fulfilled in various ways and some of those names are fulfilled by that voter suppression than face than the frivolity and carnivals been that way since ancient eyes of rome but there are probably also other people who delight in playing kings and what haynes and in that sense probably never quite the roller the queen is selected
level one from the day the time to make it known that they wish to make their debut and they are angry and have a number of them when we look at them back to their mothers when acquaint an article and a cane so the rabbit and then that seems to have the most realistic close to them sometimes it feels like to be the queen of the one who is that's been done for many many years and it always works out there's no money hartfield since it's known that's the way it is all that it's very serious and will be held and of course this business of oil being queen a model for all a
leading the ball and that sort of thing isn't gotten into dallas is now in their fourth generations of people who led the same policy of the green party and it's very serious for those people we have a clean page two egg written him and become heroes in the obamas calls loudly against they upheld wanting to moaning inject put makeup on that get used to that and now one man don't want the current and said that you never gave up not a growing opium because it said you take these new bars receded mike ruff and then they can walk until it have been like to be a baby panda power gotten be a nightmare thing an investment as the queen fans are the experiences you
know greece is in the taxpayers in clean because of pings please follow jason everything he wants to create a dress i'm just like just applying know this might have been and it for long years in he says added street closes far closer than it just hit me a little narrower a little narrower estimate may just waiting and when the whole wedding party now its finances to the wedding dress adams and andrew kohut this is from the veils that is very tangled family is armed and the handlers know recently learned about the first ever instances knowing only that the queen or
any other kinds need to be done but the smaller ones will be down about one to one woman three months to do it to a man of two women would take her six weeks or so when we get far by women working only condemn violence but that's concentrated eight hours of days it doesn't ever leave the queen is here are you noticing more things in seeing a man roster that they wanted out lots of poor whites so how we decided on drilling is made in purple silk satin anything alongside still huge embedded in our nation enhancing of jazz festivals in my novel on early human and without incident with iowa and then it says i get them
are on the floor and in our laps russians and i can go flea it's a system their young people and they're in their twenties they're not supposed to let some of the cities who have older people changing because of always been young people in jail have done an outstanding young people do and they really are a row
image of what young people are very outstanding young people we just let people who will in what will shoulder the responsibility as its responsibility to the party for four days is to put on a good side to it to the public i guess that's a little bit of a cliche rene irresponsible they don't have any response to those airlines done for our own we have to military escorts deliver the queen where she's supposed to be on stage you know they held without the king is use the little bit older than both so they can be relied on to help paint half from seven nine years after even the sleeping schedule
because they have to cut off the bodies at a given hour so they can get enough fish also strange enough you can't let them get too much rest and break the momentum because they get a downgrade is as a manager says it's pretty well my astonishment of a lot of people say this is the weekend by long long long remember that what will be his were involved with mardi gras since its inception but usually in the less glamorous roles of carpenters in new hampshire the first real participation unlike moby of mardi gras was writing it for the ball was given by the first mistake you try
o o d or order then in nineteen thirty eight was still there for the color everybody celebrates the same way there is no separation live shannon the coronation of king felix is things in mixes there is no more elaborate than we spend on and one is in excess of thirty eight four thousand dollars each year on the activity all of the activities and that's not to include costumes by individual goes that that's a virtual fence but i guess if you had to take all of that and included in one
years of activities my family talking about half a million dollars cause it's very expensive undertaking but <unk> money which leaves him for blacks historically have wanted to celebrate the matter activists oddly relaxed five years ago that they cannot celebrate along with their counterparts the white colonization so that took upon themselves thought that are some of the andy amadeo called consultation saw fit to do this because of their inability to work with the other other groups and since then they have care about i think arm it has been talked about this got a moon many of innovation both
black and white that one made this might just become a reality that the celebration is colorless in terms of race i look forward to this happening in my might be planets away and the days is when it happens but i've always told people that i should only don't rap on a tombstone of tammany had happened and i get the message rose bowl water the largest portion of that eighteen million seems to go for evening gowns close to five million dollars per year after that two million dollars annually for virgin's new york or more there's only one point four million dollars
at this point four million dollars worth of clothing and accessories and warned to mardi gras ball some expenditures lose wars included two hundred dollars chamber as the show the boston globe one of the items on the course in the past and live in london alm it's never so is and says twelve or eighteen thousand out of liquor that liquor trucks back up here and they always say it's twelve thousand this year man this is you know an eighteen thousand dollars worth of liquor and that happens every night and there was i
guess an incredible ways and many people are asking the question why should one puts so much money into frivolity when the homeless all wandering the streets of the blue and this is a very good question and summer surge question and one that needs to be answered it has gotten so technical like so many other things until we must cover ourselves with insurance policies and many other thanks to protect the organization and its membership from the potential also there's always this anchor king in the shadows someone is trying to take advantage of any and every opportunity i saw those people because they can enjoy a lot of oil for trying to find a way to get some more individually davis's inferno well we're smiling of the ticket oh yes i think that that all an armada grow as more good than of evil and if you don't take it with respect
to a city's coming alive for a sense of feeling identity and oneness there is an awful lot of good in this and solid family fund that takes place on this occasion i think it gives life and zest to a city and an entirely authentic and very enjoyable enjoyable fashion i would hate to see it disappear can't imagine this is michael luca it is about we always have to deal with people that had power security that can be a big asset beyond you well we don't condemn it we would we would not be as extreme as search and religious sentiments in our
own community that feel modern was not a ball of god the excess is a certain amount of god but you can have a good celebration and i think a very legitimate one without being excessive it will be a lot of a mormon family oriented as well i think someone coming to market to realize that in the first place there's nothing serious don't get uptight idea for violent the whole idea's the fraud witness and have a good time so as the same goes that i am with him dignity behind and the fine i do if you come and immobile for march april first place get placed a legitimate bodies in the make your resume got a place to stay if possible get into a hotel
and then get out on the streets and scramble and the political leverage for mother was the ransom young men the young boys and everything was just he was with a large corporation which transfers so that that when lucas about that they were happiest when they said it was like to be ahead of the saying south florida vote for life until spring then one of the children
and the food they have a saying that martin with the whole world and here they were friends with the necessity of accepting the fact that there could be you know a lot of what the piece is a gun that will be the production out this program was made possible in part by a grant from the alabama state council on the arts and the national endowment for the arts a federal agency fb fb ths
Mobile Mardi Gras: Mother of Mystics
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Episode Description
Mardi Gras is more than an annual celebration in Mobile, it is an art form so deeply woven into the fabric of this place, that there is a reason the city is called the Mother of Mystics. This piece looks at all the different elements that make up Mardi Gras including the building and creation of floats, the dances, the Mardi Gras Queens, and more. It also looks at the history of Mardi Gras both in Mobile and elsewhere, the impacts of Mardi Gras on the city, as well as some of the major players including Joe Cain and Michael Kraft
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: Brunson, Richard
: Elmore, Julian
: Cruce, Sharon
: Letcher, Mike
: Johns, Jo
: Williams, Eugene
: Terry, Jo
Editor: Clay, Kevin
Editor: Holt, Tony
Executive Producer: Connell, Bill
Interviewee: McCray, Joe
Interviewee: Stallworth, Jack
Interviewee: Kiser, Myrna Pratt
Interviewee: Thornton, Karen
Interviewee: Delany, Caldwell
Interviewee: Odom, Webb
Interviewee: Criminale, George
Interviewee: Horrison, Aday
Interviewee: Higginbotham, Jay
Interviewee: Ladd, Edward
Interviewee: Bullock, Julia Vincent
Interviewee: Dean Sr., Wayne
Interviewee: Croom, Stephens G.
Interviewee: Luce, Jex "Rancey"
Narrator: Clark, Dr. Culpepper
Producer: Anothony, Judy
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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Format: BetacamSP
Duration: 1:04:14
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Chicago: “Mobile Mardi Gras: Mother of Mystics,” 1988-02-07, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 3, 2023,
MLA: “Mobile Mardi Gras: Mother of Mystics.” 1988-02-07. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 3, 2023. <>.
APA: Mobile Mardi Gras: Mother of Mystics. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from