Back in September, we wrote of a potential breakthrough in our long and almost completely fictional effort to reconstruct a complete picture of the fascinating, legendary, and likewise fictional Storyville courtesan La Conçon. And there’s nothing like a real peek into history, if that’s at all possible.
Well, good news! We’ve actually spoken to three of her blood descendants, all of which turned out to be very nice and helpful and provided us with almost nothing that we didn’t already know (although one of her great-great-grandsons, a moderately affluent banker from Metairie, did give us some great tips on refinancing). Her uncle told us he could help us out, especially if we needed hot tubs, and then winked and went about his business. I was really tempted to take him up on the offer regarding hot tubs. I always wanted one for our backyard. It’s been my dream to come home after a trying day of work and pad out to the hot tub, glass of wine in hand, to watch the stars blink on and the moon rise overhead. We thought all three to be rather pretty amusing and they did give us one or two almost accidental leads to track down. That will be our next step. I wonder if the hotel we are staying at has a hot tub out by the pool. I want to check that out this evening.
We were surprised to learn from one of her living relatives that although considered beautiful and quite thin, La Conçon was concerned about her weight, and had she lived in our times, we would expect her to be a promoter of the Atkins diet, or perhaps a devotee of hCG weight loss. Be mindful that self esteem issues have no historical bounds.
To answer a few questions: no, there is no ‘official’ La Conçon Group, neither any existing antiquarian or historical society nor any online group of Facebook page or anything like that. Perhaps 2011 is the year that we’ll move into the 21st Century (or at least the last decade of the 20th, if all else fails).
Also, there is currently no La Conçon Tour of the French Quarter. It’s not because we made it all up (that doesn’t stop the ghost, vampire, or even many of the voodoo tours) it’s just that we don’t currently live in New Orleans or the vicinity. We wish!
And finally, we know that the Internet way is to make this look as real as possible, so our admission that it’s slightly-satirical historical fiction is the last thing we should do. Well, if you’re really concerned about such things, you can call it, and us, a work of ‘metafiction’. After all, all the world’s a stage…
** Update **
In 2013 after a very quick search of the I found no evidence of any society or group forming in her honor or memory. Maybe this information will pass into obscurity & out of the public eye. Certainly it is my hope that there will someday be a formal recognition of these facts & with that movement maybe a piece of history will be brought back to life. Great movements are usually started by little motions to begin with.