It was always about the past.
My Letter to Chris Rose, written when I could not decide whether or not to build the shrine.
Dear Chris Rose,
I tried to find your contact information online, but because I gave up Facebook, I was not sure how else to contact you except through The Gambit Weekly.
I never got a chance to thank you for writing about my Shrine to Jon Bon Jovi last year (2900 block of Maurepas Street). The attention you paid to the shrine was contagious, and I got some great video footage of Bon Jovi fans at the shrine after the Saturday performance. The fact that Jon Bon Jovi did not visit the shrine himself has not changed the fact that “I’ll Be There For You” remains the greatest power ballad of all time.
It was your presence in front of my home the next day (when you asked what had happened to the shrine) that motivated me to reconstruct it to the best of my ability. I can only guess that this smaller version of the shrine was what was described as “a humble grotto” in the May 11 “Jazz Fest Remembered” that appeared in The Gambit Weekly’s News & Views.
I do not know if you are interested in what is happening with the I.S.S.S. of JBJ this year, but an altar once again rests in front of my home. After what I can only refer to as a dark night of the soul (filled with second guessing and suspicion as to whether the shrine would appear redundant and pathetic), I asked the world for answers, and last Saturday, many of my neighbors practically demanded that I rebuild this shrine. A shrine does, after all, suggest absence, and such a tribute strikes me as even more poignant now that Jon Bon Jovi is not appearing at the festival at all.
Last year at this time, I was still writing for NOLAfugees, which is now on hiatus, but I parted ways with them long before that. I am not sure how to go about promoting the shrine or documenting its evolution (a blog???), although I have designed some posters, erected a chalkboard, and added a new slogan – “It was always about the past.” I may even be able to offer a screening of the video of the shrine (I am editing it) if you or anyone else is interested.
I do understand that since Jon Bon Jovi will not be performing at the festival, and you may or may not be a fan of his music, you may not be interested in events that revolve specifically around him.
I have considered starting a blog about this because I am unfortunately writing in a vacuum.
I’ve admired your ability to avoid said vacuum, so I decided to contact you to, if nothing else, update you about this “cultural phenomenon”. Do you ever give advice to writers who do not know how to find their place in the world? I understand if you are not interested in this type of correspondence, but any suggestions would be helpful, even if they involve social networking.
You are always welcome to stop by the Shrine of Jon Bon Jovi. This year, we (my dog and I) are offering not only free Aqua Net but also three different types of sun block. I hope you are enjoying this lovely spring as well as the festival, and I was glad when you began writing for The Gambit Weekly.
I do not know if anyone is interested in what is happening with the International Special Sacred Shrine of Jon Bon Jovi this year, but an altar once again rests in front of my home. After what I can only refer to as a dark night of the soul (filled with second guessing and suspicion as to whether the shrine would appear redundant and pathetic), I asked the world for answers, and last Saturday, Bayou St. John residents encouraged me to deliberately rebuilt what arose from spontaneity.
A shrine does, after all, suggest absence, and such a tribute strikes me as even more poignant now that Jon Bon Jovi is not appearing at the festival at all.
We have Aqua Net hairspray, Bic lighters, wreaths of roses, and the premier of rare video footage filmed at the Shrine after Jon Bon Jovi’s 2009 performance at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.