Sunday, January 18, 2009

Repose en Paix Wendy

Wendy Byrne was one of our favorite bartenders in the French Quarter. Her main place of work was at Aunt Tiki's on Decatur St., but she had also moonlighted at The Country Club, El Gato's Lair, and Startlight by the Park. We met her through our friend Darron, I think a year or two before Katrina. She was a lively spirit, a great story teller and described herself as a gay man trapped in a womans body.

A day or so after our introduction we ran into her at Voodoo at Congo Square. She came in and sat at the end of the bar and ordered a drink and we got to talking. She mentioned that she loved guys with hairy chests cuz she loved the feel of rubbing against them bare chested. I pulled up my shirt and showed my fur and said "like this", and Wendy immediately jumped off her barstool, pulled up her shirt exposing her bare breasts and ran to me shouting "Hairy chest, Hairy chest", I climbed off of my barstool and we rubbed our bare chests together until she got her fix. Being a gay man, I had never been that close to boobs in my life, Wendy was definitely a friend for life after that moment.

Sometimes we would go in and there would be a sign on the JagerMeister dispensor stating "No More for Wendy" put there by Wendy herself of course to keep her from "crossing over" while at work. This Christmas/New Year trip down there Wendy told us she had switched from Jager to Tequilla. Also this year Scooby had started ordering his shots of Jager by pronouncing it YAY GRRRR and Wendy then raised her arms above her head and said "YAY" then ducked down behind the bar and jumped up like a bear and said "GRRR".

She worked mornings/early afternoons on Decatur and once while we were out looking for lunch and not ready to drink, we tried to walk past the bar.......But Wendy saw us and yelled, "Hey!!!, where do you think your going walking past here with out stopping to say hello". We would stop in and she would whip up her special Voodoo doll bloody mary's with the okra body, green bean arms, olive hands and a cocktail onion head. And that would be the end of the day cuz we would sit and drink and visit till the end of her shift.

Our friend Darron called this morning to let us know that Wendy was shot and killed near the corner of Dauphine and Govenor Nichols in the French Quarter last night. The victim of a robbery gone horribly wrong.

I spent Sunday in a state of disbelief, Scooby cried on and off all day. Sunday night we bought some Jager and drank to Wendy. Today (monday) it has sunk in and after reading more about what happened I finally started to cry as well. It makes me sick that if the police had of done their job this could have been prevented.

We love you Wendy, I'm so sorry this happened, you will always be remembered and the French Quarter will not be the same with out you. XXXOOO

More from the Times-Picayune

Update: Teen turns himself in.

Update: 2 teens booked in FQ murder.

Update: More info. from Times-Picayune


dianalily said...

Thanks for the photo. I always knew it was time to go home when Wendy showed up for her shift. And those Bloody Marys were something special.

M Styborski said...

Indeed, it was robbery. Robbery that could have been prevented if just one cop would have paid attention. Read the whole miserable story here:

Repose en Paix Wendy.

CharlieLBCA said...

Wow, you hit Wendy's personlity right on the head! I live in Long Beach, CA and was privileged enough to hang out with Wendy a few times at Aunt Tiki's while visiting New Orleans. We clicked instantly. Denny (Rawhide bartender) introduced us and also called me this morning to advise me of the horrible news. I just can't believe it. I was just hanging out with her over Thanksgiving weekend! I think I need to get some Jager and cry. One thing is for sure--Wendy will be WAY beyond the boundaries of the Quarter. She was one amazing lady!!! RIP Sweetie.

Dean said...

It was recently rumored that the additional security provided by the Downtown Development District (ddd) Public Safety Rangers in the French Quarter and the Marigny was discontinued in January, 2009, due to not getting enough votes by the F.Q. and Marigny Association to continue the service.

Wake up people! The ddd is a non-profit organization and provides the rangers at their "cost", which I hear is 1/2 the expense of security guards and 1/3 the fees of detail officers.

The service of ddd Public Safety Rangers should be increased in the Quarter and Marigny, not relinquished. Please call your associations and tell them to restart this service again and increase their numbers to higher than before. Do we need another resident to be killed or a tourist to lose their life? I pray not.