One night in New Orleans, my parents stayed with the boys while Tom and I went to eat at Jacques-

One night in New Orleans, my parents stayed with the boys while Tom and I went to eat at Jacques-imo’s, a funky joint I’ve heard about for years. My sister used to frequent it for the alligator mousse while she was at Tulane. Anyway, long story short, T and I are eating at the bar (so much fun to eat at a good bar), shooting the breeze with the bartender, Kiss (yes that was his name), and taking in the fabulously eccentric decor.

Above our right shoulders, we saw an awesome fish made from a reclaimed shutter and some old boards. He was all done up in Mardi Gras colors, and when I asked if he was for sale, he was! [People, I make it a big habit to ask restaurants if their items are for sale. Things I have acquired in this manner (via payment or as gifts -SO nice- from the restaurant) include: a set of espresso cups with scenes from Italian towns on them, a carafe I still use regularly from a place in Italy I wanted to remember, demitasse cups, and so forth].

I called the makers of this fish and thus met Blayne and Eddie Gothard, a delightful Louisiana couple who started this business, Shutter-Fish (www.shutter-fish.com) after Hurricane Katrina. They use reclaimed shutters, wood, tile, porcelain, all sorts of stuff found in the wreckage, to make these whimsical pieces. I loved the Mardi Gras one but could not imagine how we’d accomodate a 4.5 foot large wooden fish in our house. So, the Shutter-Fish team said they’d be perfectly happy to custom make a much shorter one for us. Fantastic!

It’s on its way now. What do you think? I love it!