In Louisiana: Jazzman's Last Ride

Boom! A cannon shot from the Society Jazz Band bass drum jolts the chattering crowd outside the Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home into a brief silence. The casket is coming out. Boom! A second shot signals the stricken cadence of a dirge. The white gloves of the pallbearers flash in the morning sun as they float their burden to the silver-gray Cadillac hearse. The main party of mourners, a score or so, fit themselves into several cars waiting in line.

Boom! Boom!

A cornet sings out the opening tones of a familiar old hymn. Quickly,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!