History of Joe Cain Day


Hey everybody. I’m Christopher Harress. Welcome
to Getting Reck’d where we use, on this occasion, Southern history as an excuse to get sloshed,
which everybody loves. I’m with Mr. James West today who is a member of mystic society
which you are not allowed to know the name of because those are the rules. And he’s pretty
good at throwing them back. I’m going to try and keep up and in the meantime we’re going
to talk about Joe Cain, his wives, the day that we celebrate Joe Cain and that’s about
it. You might be hearing right now is a parade going by. Joe Cain Day is a very Mobile day.
This was after the Civil War. We had had Mardi Gras for a long time. But then the Civil War
came and we stopped. So the Union forces were here and Joe Cain he was actually a clerk
here in Mobile, a shipping clerk. Everybody was down in the dumps, no Mardi Gras and so
what he decided to do was like “Look, we need to get over this. We need to continue. We
need to let our spirit rise.” Joe Cain and about six of his buddies decide that they
were going to dress up and celebrate Mardi Gras again. And they went out Mardi Gras day
and they had coal cart, and they had horns and drums and they went down the streets of
Mobile and they had a great time causing all sorts of ruckus. Joe Cain, he took over the
persona of Chief Slacabamorinico. Say that again. Slacabamorinico. How did he come up
with that? That is an old Chickasaw chief. Marched through the streets to let the Union
soldiers know that the South would never die. Him going out and doing this, because there
were laws enacted where there was not to be any uprisings. Oh okay. Good law by the way.
Yeah. That’s a solid law. Don’t uprise. Don’t even rise.Very stable. Just chill out. So
what he did he could have been arrested for. He kind of did it very lovingly and frivolously
and was like “Aahh, we’re just having a good time.” Wow. They did it for several years
in a row, next thing you know Mardi Gras has gone back to Mobile and here we 200 years
later. Do you think Joe Cain drank as much as the average Mobilian during Mardi Gras?
You know, Joe Cain actually he paraded til his death. He was in several different Mardi
Gras organizations. Started one of the oldest ones here in Mobile. And he paraded every
year until his death. Now my understanding of Joe Cain is that he had like, and I think
I’m wrong on this. I thought that he had ten wives or something, right. But then they say…
cause they call them the Joe Cain widows and it’s these women that mourn his death. Were
those girlfriends? Were they widows? I don’t even know anything. Like was he a philanderer.
Well, there’s actually a couple of groups. There is the Joe Cain Merry Widows. And then
there’s the Joe Cain Merry mistresses. Ooooh. So apparently Joe Cain was quite the uh…
I don’t know if I can say the word pimp. But pimpin’ ain’t easy. You got to keep it strong.
Pimpin’ ain’t easy. The Joe Cain Day, the Joe Cain procession, it’s the people’s parade.
Ok. Because you have a lot of walking groups that get involved. A lot of your Mardi Gras
organizations, you know, they are secret societies and such. And there are secret societies on
Joe Cain Day, however, it’s more of a loose type parade. It’s the longest parade during
Mardi Gras. Ok. Because you have people that get in it. It started back in the 60’s and
basically any body that showed up with any sort of float, whether it be homemade or whatever,
they could get into it. But yes, Joe Cain brought the people together. It brought a
lot of people who had been beat down by the Civil War to come together to cheer to have
a good time and just enjoy life. And that’s what he did. I mean he succeeded. I mean,
how many years have we had a Joe Cain Day. It has to be since the 1800’s, late 1800’s.
So we are talking like 200 years possibly, yeah. Yeah, Joe Cain is the man. Yeah he is
the man. So, I hope everybody enjoyed getting reck’d tonight. Cheers. Cheers. Hope you learned
a little bit about Mardi Gras, Mobile Mardi Gras. I hope you learned a little bit about
Mardi Gras and Mobile Mardi Gras. And Joe Cain. And Joe Cain and all of his women. Cheers
to you all. Cheers guys. Thanks for joining us.

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