In the room next to the kitchen, where the onions were stored, lived a woman named Vidalia. She never left the room. She just peeled onions all day and all night. Nobody could remember how long she had been there, but she was already there when Rank came along. And that had been about ten years. Rank did the cooking, if what he did could be called cooking. The word 'cooking' usually draws connotations like seasoning, spice, blending of flavors, ingredients, etc. But all he did was drop the peeled onions in a big soup pot to boil. Pot after pot, day in, day out. When they would finally become soft and fall apart, turning into a bland slop, he would fill a bowl and take it out to the back porch adjacent to the kitchen.
Growing up in New Orleans, I always looked forward to turkey gumbo made from the leftovers from our family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I have fond memories of both of my parents cooking together and of the wonderful aromas that filled up the house. They never cooked with a written recipe. My dad’s mom was from St. Landry Parish and my mom’s people were from Evangeline Parish, so they both followed the grand Cajun style in the kitchen (as opposed to Creole) that was handed down to them through the generations. And I learned from watching them.
Landry House was one of the St. Charles homes that always seemed to have the power to draw tourists from the streetcar. To get them to pull the cord that rings the bell, getting the conductor to apply the brakes. To get them off, to cross over from the neutral ground for photos, and to approach with reverence, as if they were nearing the casket at a wake. But no one was around now.
Should you collaborate with a co-writer or write your song by yourself? Collaboration can be good or not so good, depending on you, your partner and how you handle the arrangement. The biggest thing to realize about collaboration is that when you write a song with a partner, you will be connected to that person for the rest of your life. It is like if you have a child with someone, whether you like them (or still like them) or not. Any decisions to be made about the song will require the input of both of you. So, if either of you move, change your phone number or email, the other partner must be informed of the change. Forever (explanation will follow). Because of this reality, it is clear to see why it is simply easier and less complicated to write your song by yourself. But let’s examine some points to consider about collaboration.
Should you copyright your song or use a third party protection service? According to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright protection concerns original works fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated either directed or with the aid of a machine or device. In other words, if you write a song it qualifies for copyright. In fact, under U.S. Copyright Law, getting a copyright on your song is automatic and the process starts with the date of creation. Whether you record, write down or put it on a CD you have an automatic copyright. Now that you have a copyright on your song, should your register it with the U.S. Library of Congress?