The second line tradition of parading in memory of members who died since their last parade was played out in New Orleans.
IPC members left their first-semester meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans to parade behind a brass band down Canal Street and into the French Quarter in celebration of the life of the late Toby Daniel Moore (December 14, 1950 - February 15, 2019).
In a full and outstanding career, Toby was a newspaper journalist, a public relations specialist for Gold Kist and the vice president of communications for USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. He traveled extensively around the world for the US poultry industry and the International Poultry Council. He was also a soldier and photojournalist.
The parade’s brass blared, a parasol twirled and the grand marshal jubilantly danced ahead of Toby’s marching friends from all over the world. They were keeping one of the most unique expressions of New Orleans culture, the second line parade, which has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form – a jazz funeral without a body.”
It was a fitting tribute, for as Jim Sumner said as the celebration got under way, “It certainly would be difficult to find someone who had such a zest for living and coupled it with a love for his work as Toby did. Naturally, there was an outpouring of sympathy when news spread of his death. It wasn’t just grief, though. It was a joy, a happiness, for having had the chance to know Toby, to work with him, and to spend time with him.”
As the parade turned off Canal Street and meandered into the Quarter, the escorting police motorcyclists tapped beat with the jazz music and local residents joined the second line to enjoy the parade. But there was more than the parade’s joie de vivre for Toby’s friends who remembered and missed him.
“Toby was the guy who worked so diligently behind the scenes, often making sure things went smoothly on the big stage,” Sumner said. “He was connective tissue that bonded people together, too. His enjoyment of travel, love of social interaction, and willingness to do what needed to be done on behalf of the organization and its members was truly special and valuable.
“He knew how to live well, and he kept trying to live well, for himself and for everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, even in spite of all the physical trauma he endured for years in his long battle with cancer.”
As the parade ended at a bar in the French Quarter where refreshments had been arranged for the members, things were more somber. It is easy to recall Toby and celebrate him but not so easy to say goodbye.