Mobile Mardi Gras has something New Orleans never has.... and that's Joe Cain.
Joseph Stillwell Cain is credited with reviving Mardi Gras after the Civil War (referred to as "The Great Unpleasantness" in his Widow's address Sunday).
She summed up the story in that address, which you can see in the Facebook Live video below. But in a nutshell, here's the story: In 1866, while Mobile was under occupation by Federal troops, Cain dressed up as the "mythical, undefeated" Chickasaw Indian chief (Slacabamarinico) and paraded through Mobile on Shrove Tuesday on a decorated coal wagon. What may have looked like drunken foolishness to the troops was a "subtle message" that Mobile citizens were undefeated in spirit.
Every Joe Cain Day, all his Widows proclaim their love for Joe.... and insist "Joe loved me best."
They gather first in Church Street graveyard... then drink a toast on the porch of Joe's home on Augusta Street.
Then it's parade time.