Sometimes life throws you curveballs and sometimes you respond to the curve and othertimes you just keep swinging away.

This may be the mantra that Dennis Rich, former Sedalia Democrat editor, is enduring. He left the Democrat to go to New Orleans along with a friend, Terrence Arnold. Unfortunately, just before the two of them were set to move, Terrence Arnold suffered a stroke and died suddenly.

Dennis decided to honor Terrence by putting together a book about mardi gras in New Orleans, which is something they both loved. Mardi Gras is more than just about the beads and parades and partying that you see on television or check out online, but there are lots of festivals that have sprung up through the years.

One of those festivals is called Chewbacchus, which was started by a person from the Warrensburg area, named Ryan Ballard. "Chewbacchus is a newer parade," said Dennis Rich. "launched by Ryan and some other 20-30 something artists and sci-fi enthusiasts in New Orleans. It has its bawdy moments, but is generally regarded as family-friendly, and more than a few kids costume and parade with the Krewe each year."
Seeing the Chewbacchus parade was one of the the things that made Terrence Arnold and Dennis Rich want to move to New Orleans. However, after the sudden death of Arnold, Dennis Rich decided he wanted to honor his friend by putting together a book that Terrence Arnold wanted to write.

Dennis Rich has started a kickstarter program to try and get the ball rolling on the project and it's something he wants to see through, but will take some time.

"The project will take about a year and a half by the time I am ready to start printing books, said Dennis Rich. "About half of the funds will pay basic living costs for me for one year in New Orleans. The other half of the funds will go to the actual production of 100, 150-page, 12x12 hardback coffee table books, which should be ready by June 2016."

Dennis is hoping to gather more stories with the upcoming celebration and in case you didn't know Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in the Stars Wars films, will lead the 2015 parade in his seat of honor as Emperor for Life. Mayhew will be joined in 2015 by Andy Richter of the Conan O'Brien Show, who plans to shoot a segment to be aired at a later date.

Family and friends have supported the kickstarter project so far and you can join too.