That was about it until a stormy romance fifteen years later with a young woman from a traditional Catholic family from the well-heeled section of New Orleans around Tulane called Uptown.
A lifelong rebel, Pam was drawn to voudou for the same reason a lot of people in the Big Easy were, because it was outside the mainstream and likely to stay that way. Voudou was to the young, artistic bohemia of New Orleans as common a cultural crossroads as a bookshelf full of Anne Rice's vampires or John Kennedy Toole's neurotics. Many, like Pam, had picked up voudou charms at back-street shops, or smiled knowingly at mention of the word in conversation, possibly had experienced readings or been to Marie Laveau's grave; but few actually knew anything about the religion itself. Or probably cared. What was of interest to the disaffected of the city was neither the spirituality nor the theology, but the marginality. Voudou was not white and it was not of the ruling class, and if you wanted to try to distance yourself from all that suffocation and decay and slow, steady corruption, you would attach to the new perspective of your black-clad, white-lipsticked, alienated freedom anything that could identify you as not being of Them. And so without knowing it, the white exiles of New Orleans, the ones who try to make the bridge between the white and black souls of the city, and all too often fall off that bridge, partook of the political content of the African religion. They validated that content by seeking its alliance, slight and oblique thought it was.
--Rod Davis, "American Voudou: Journey Into a Hidden World"
- excerpted from Rod Davis's "American Vodou: Journey Into a Hidden World"