“Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”

  • Opening video for “Building Bridges With Long Distance Families,” by Joy Berger, DMA, FT, BCC, MT-BC for the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, July 26, 2017, in New Orleans.
  • “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?,” by Louis Armstrong. Sung by Cherie Mannino, LISW, native of New Orleans, daughter-in-law of Frank Mannino/”Frankie Mann,” beloved jazz music educator throughout Louisiana; and great-great-granddaughter of Captain Mary Doullut, first woman riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River.

The inspiration for creating this “… Long Distance Families” video came to me as I walked along the riverbank of Savannah, Georgia, the city where I was born and raised. I’d just been to my parents’ gravesite, out at the beautiful, “moss-covered” Bonaventure Cemetery. My husband and I were headed to my high school reunion, that evening. I would spend the afternoon driving to favorite places of my growing up years, especially to our beloved home with the “tall sugar-pines.” Though I was only 3 years old, I vividly remember Dad and Mom building this house, and our exciting moving-in day! I, too, remember my just-out-of-high-school pains of saying “goodbye” to our home when Dad’s job moved them to the other side of the world.

Walking along River Street with Savannah’s beautiful bridge in view, this song kept singing in my soul. The phrase that kept replaying was “… I’ll tell you what’s more, I miss the ones I care for …” (In the video, this phrase pairs with a photo of hands. These are my Mom’s and mine.)

When we got home to Louisville, KY, I found my recording of “Do You Know What It Means …” by my friend, Cherie Mannino. It’s on her album, New Orleans Roots, that she compiled in October 2005. Yes, you guessed it. These were recordings she’d rescued when fleeing Hurricane Katrina.  Yes, Cherie grew up in New Orleans’ 9th Ward. She graciously allowed me to share her music and story.

For you? For other long distance family members, where’s your home? Who are the ones you care for? What’s your story about being a long distance family member? Click on “Comments” to tell us more …




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