The resting place for my dear great-great-aunt Marie Laveau, the "Voodoo Queen," is not, NOT, a blank canvas upon an artist's easel and the practice of scribbling X's on her tomb must be stopped. It is offensive graffiti and a disrespectful act based on an unproven superstition. Furthermore, not only am I appalled by the manor in which my dead relative is treated, but I am the one who has to clean up your trash.
From what I've been told by my co-workers here at Saint Louis Cemetery, the X's are believed to be an incantation, a wish to conjure up her infamous "Voodoo" spirit for whatever reason. Allow me to debunk the salacious rumors and state for the record that Aunt Marie possessed no such power. Granted, she earned notoriety for her ability to relieve many folk of their ailments, especially the hard-working and stressed man. And perhaps her prognoses were not always ideal for the families to hear. But the fact remains that Marie Laveau was an expert of her unique craft and as a result the talk of the town.
That being said, I personally believe that all this mumbo jumbo about the "Voodoo" practice is a bunch of hogwash and bullroar. I do not prescribe to it. And marking up a gravesite to wish upon a higher power for some extra luck is nothing but hoodoo hokum. Honestly, if wishes could truly be granted, then why have I been the unfortunate soul tasked with this demeaning custodial responsibility?
The real kick-to-the-groin for me happens every one of the thousands of times I reach for that old scrub and bucket. If only a small percentage of those who've defaced my great-great aunt's grave would bother to spit on my tombstone after my sand runs out, then I could rest in peace knowing that I had visitors.
Until then, I prefer honoring Marie Laveau's legacy each week by cooking up a batch of her secret recipe Voodoo Stew and drink a Yoo-hoo while watching Lieutenant Sulu on Hulu, yes I do.
Please be kind to the "Voodoo Queen." She was a doll.
James Laveau III
...ask for Jimmy
Here is a YouTube video of one of this song's original recordings by Papa Celestin.
Recommended reading: Angel Killer: A Jessica Blackwood Novel by Andrew Mayne. Published by Bourbon Street Books.