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Parc International is nearly full with supporters for the Bring Mickey Home fundraising concert featuring Vagabond Swing and Givers.                                                                                          Dominick Cross

 

Early on late Sunday afternoon, the crowd begins to arrive at Parc International. It'svery warm, not exactly hot, but warm enough to get your attention. Young people, mostly female walk to the front of the stage and promptly take a seat on the cement ground in one fluid motion. They don't stay there long.

Older folks, but not old folks, find shade under the trees here and there and dispense with lawn chairs or blankets and settle in for the Bring Mickey Home fundraiser concert at Parc International.

 

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Vagabond Swing's (from left) Jon Stone, Hayden Talley, and Josh LeBlanc get in the groove Sunday  at Parc International for the Bring Mickey Home fundraising concert.                                 Dominick Cross

 

Mickey is Micheala "Mickey" Shunick, 22, who hasn't been seen since the early morning hours of May 19 when she was riding her bicycle from a friend's house in the Saint Streets to her home in the Ambassador/Congress area.

A light spring breeze with traits of a what’s to come summer wind sometimes rolls across the plaza like a giant cotton ball providing a dab of relief for what it's worth. A Bring Mickey Home banner with her smiling face and Tip Line phone number (337.291.8633) hangs and occasionally sways from the rafters on the stage.

A woman wears a Defend New Orleans T-shirt, a thick strip of blue duck tape with the word Lafayette printed on it covering New Orleans. It now reads Defend Lafayette.

People mingle and talk and gradually move closer to the stage. They're eager for the music to start and are even enthusiastic about it what's in store, but the news that morning that fishermen found Shunick's bicycle in the Whiskey Bay area is in their eyes.

And then the music begins and it's good and it's a welcome diversion, but like Festivals Acadiens just days after the 9/11 attacks, all these hearts and minds - on stage and in the huge crowd - are obviously somewhere else.

At times, the solid performances of Vagabond Swing and Givers, respectively, would sometimes have you forget why you are here, but then you remember because you honestly can't forget. Sure, you can get caught up in the music for maybe the length of a chorus, a trumpet solo or a guitar riff, but no, you can't forget about Mickey, you can't forget why you're here.

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Members of Lost Bayou Ramblers (back, from left) Andre Michot and Louis Michot, join GIVERS' Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson performing Paul Simon's "That Was Your Mother" from Simon's Graceland release which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Dickie Landry also sat in with the GIVERS. Dominick Cross


And if, in that fleeting moment this fundraiser seems to be just another concert, you're quickly brought back to reality because there's that Bring Mickey Home banner up there behind and above the band; there are supporters, musicians and even Mickey's stoic family wearing the T-shirts with the same message.

It's obvious no one at Parc International came to forget anything; they came to give their time, talent or money to Bring Mickey Home.

 

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