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    Posted March 7, 2011 by
    New Orleans, Louisiana

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    Anderson Rocks in Endymion!!!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     'I was surprised at how many people love Anderson Cooper,' luvnola said. 'The crowd just swarmed the float. They could barely drive the tractor down the street!' luvnola said she was so excited when Cooper was signing her hat that she forgot to take a photo of him doing it.
    - ccostello3, CNN iReport producer

    Anderson Rocks in Endymion!!!

    On Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans uptown garden district, the night was electric, and the crowds jubilant, filled with anticipation as two of the city’s largest parades Bacchus and Endymion were rolling back to back due to the cancellation of the Endiymion parade on Saturday night because of severe weather conditions. CNN’s own Anderson Cooper along with Kelly Ripa rolled through the streets of the Big Easy atop a brightly lit float serving as the Grand Marshall for the Krewe of Endymion. I was  doubly excited as an iReporter to get a photograph of Anderson. Much to my surprise and delight I got much more. I was wearing a red CNN Gulf Coast cap, which I traded my Gulf Aid cap for during the oil spill with Tracy Sabo a Sr. CNN Producer I met while covering the Gulf Coast oil spill.  I wore it Hoping it would help me catch Anderson's attention among all the revelers lining the streets. My niece, Robyn, and I decided to walk  three blocks to the beginning of the parade and see if he was on the float waiting to roll. We found Anderson!!! Of course there were crowds surrounding the float. Robyn and I began yelling and screaming for Anderson to look our way. All I wanted was a photograph...Finally he heard our voices…He threw us some beads and cups. Robyn grabbed my cap off my head and began waving it at Anderson asking him to autograph it. He nodded his head said "yes" and asked someone below him to pass my hat up to him.  Fortunately someone in the crowd, who also wanted something signed, had a sharpie we could pass up with the cap. Then I stood and watched as he SIGNED MY CAP!!!! I was filled with so many emotions as Anderson holds a special place in my heart.  I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t even take a picture of him signing it. Anderson was extremely gracious to others as well who were asking him to sign different things until the parade was ready to roll. As the parade turned onto Napoleon Avenue, the revelers went nuts swarming the float, screaming his name and blocking the float while taking pictures of him. Anderson almost looked shocked at first. I don't know if he expected such a reception.  But he quickly got caught up in the moment and began throwing beads and Endymion cups bearing his picture.  The crowds continued as the float crawled down the Avenue.  I  could see him connecting with the people who are the spirit of New Orleans.  The streets were overflowing with gratitude as everyone acknowledged and paid tribute to Anderson for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and for “Keeping BP Honest” in the recent Gulf Coast oil spill.  Anderson holds a special place in my heart as well as the hearts of the people of New Orleans.

    Thanks Anderson!!!! And thank you CNN for your excellent reporting and coverage on the city of New Orleans.

    As always, Anderson, “Keep them Honest”!!!

    The people of NOLA say, SALUTE!!!!

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