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A Very Special View From Your Table

New Orleans, Louisiana

I don’t usually post two Views From Your Table on the same day, but I’ve just gotten this one, and it brought a tear to my eye. This view is from The Rib Room in the French Quarter of New Orleans. What are you looking at? Here’s the magnificent obituary from today’s Times-Picayune of Mr. Bernard Mason, of New Orleans. Excerpt:

 Of all his pleasures, none stood above that of a table well-laid with food and drink and surrounded by his family and friends. His deep basso voice had a lyrical and musical quality which commanded attention when he spoke, and which conveyed pleasure to all who heard his tales of New Orleans rouges and their adventures. He was an authority of every imaginable subject. … As a raconteur he was second to none. His prodigious memory and the artistry with which he concocted his tales insured that a seat at his table was a deeply coveted commodity during his weekly lunches at the Rib Room. On the rare occasions which a story wasn’t forthcoming, he instigated one. A pall has settled upon New Orleans — its liveliness and its mirth diminished, for when he left, many feel he took a part of the city with him.

The table you’re looking at was Bernard Mason’s. On today, the day of his funeral, the restaurant set a place for one, and kept a candle burning there for Mr. Mason all day long. What fine, fine people, those New Orleanians.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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