LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

After many other second lines celebrating the life of musician and singer'Uncle' Lionel Batiste,today was supposed to be the final one following his funeral service.

But while the downpour changed the plans,it did not dampen the spirits of the hundreds who showed up.

It looked like a river in the theater parking lot. The rain flowed down the streets, and so did thelibations, and the memories.

'From thelittlechildren on up to we seniors, he took care of us. He gave us great joy,' said Tee-Eva Perry, a friend and soft shoe dancer partner of Batiste's.

'Look at the people around here, in here.White, Black,Hispanic, everything. We enjoyourselves no matter what and likeI say it'scalled life,' said GeorgeQuinn, theWild Man of the Golden Blades Mardi Gras Indians Uptown.

People spilled out of a near fullMahaliaJackson Theater for the performing arts, remembering what 'Uncle'Lionel Batiste taught them.

'He taught me so much about charisma and about what you call protocol and about the business and how to carry yourself as a gentleman and a musician,' said Shannon Powell, a drummer with the Treme'Brass Band.

'He was one ofthe best base drummers we ever heard and we ever saw,' said Musician James Andrews. He says Batiste inspired his music career.'Absolutely, and he inspired me so muchI wrote the song'Gimme My Money Back' for theTreme' Brass Band.'

So how do you celebrate the life of the ultimate celebrator of life?You don't let rain on your parade.

Hundreds gathered outside of the theater and danced and played music. They were dressed in bright clothes with clear rainponchos over them.

If there was ever a time that you really did need a realumbrella at a second line, it was today.Butrain didn't stop people from having fun.

InTreme', you just put a protective, clear, rainshield over your umbrella.

But the cemetery was flooded so there was no burial today.One familymember said, 'He justain't ready to go!'

'UncleLionel really broke a record. He been having music for the last week and a half, two weeks.Iain't seen nobody top that off yet,' said Benny Jones Sr. a member of the Treme'Brass Band who is also his nephew-in-law.

The complete second line is now planned forMonday at 11 a.m.

It'll go from theCharbonnet-Labat-Glapion Funeral Home on SaintPhilip Street to the MountOlivet cemetery in Gentilly.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/2014/09/03/14532470/