Broad Street during Mardi Gras smells like beer, Newports, and funnel cakes

February 8, 2020
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Broad Street during Mardi Gras smells like beer, Newports, and funnel cakes

Broad Street during Mardi Gras smells like beer, Newports, and funnel cakes

“People leave scooters on their porches and in their back yards. I knock on the doors and say, ‘If you don’t mind, I need to get the scooter back. It’s like Blockbuster, you rented it, but you can’t keep it. I need to charge it for the next person to use it.’ They come up off of them nice, but I don’t want to have to do that every time. 250 scooters are around Mobile and five of us work to take care of them. We make sure they aren’t a public nuisance. We don’t want them lying in the road, or in the way. We teach people how to use them. How to ride in the street like a big boy. Read the signs, obey the stop sign, don’t go the wrong way down a one-way street. All of the fun things you learn from driver’s ed or Big Bird apply on the scooter. They get out there on the first wheeeeeee and think ‘screw the rules, I am having fun.’

The kids have been so compliant. I tell them to put the scooters back on Dauphin Street when they are done. They put them back on Dauphin Street, just no telling where. Sometimes they ask where Dauphin Street is. The main street, baby. It has green signs with white letters all over it. They learn where Dauphin Street is and put the scooters back. But grown folks after they have been drinking are the problem. I ask them please don’t take it home and they say ‘no, I’ve got to take it home, it’s cheaper than an Uber. Then they hit a parked car. They learn after the first trip to the dentist.’
I am a child of this city and I do everything. I am in a kickball league, I own a pest control service, and referee basketball. I love Mobile’s history and culture. We are different from everywhere else. I have gone across the United States and there is nothing like home. How we treat each other and love each other. I can’t get too far from the water or I start itching. I love the trees, the way it smells. Everything about Mobile makes my heart sing.
The Trinity Garden parade is my favorite part of Mardi Gras. It is a giant block party and everyone takes care of each other. I loved coming to downtown parades with my dad. Broad Street smelled like beer, Newports, and funnel cakes. That smell is delicious and still makes me giddy. Mobile is one big mix of people. The gumbo is there and that energy is so good for you. Even the people not from here get caught up in the spirit and how the energy moves. I am good for getting in trouble and doing my fair share of acting up. My name is John Lordhelpme Simon. Lord help me is the fastest prayer I’ve got. I use it a lot.”

2 comments on “Broad Street during Mardi Gras smells like beer, Newports, and funnel cakes”

  1. Julie says:

    I love your story! Have fun out there, and try and keep those scooter riders safe!

  2. Dawn says:

    Great story! As a native Mobile, I feel the same way about our home – there just isn’t another place like it…our kind people, the beautiful trees, the beaches & rivers, fabulous seafood, Mardi Gras! I just can’t name them all.
    You sound like a wonderful man, Mr. Simon, and I thank you for being such a big part of Mobile!

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