9th Ward neighbors remember Fats Domino as family

Fats Domino Community Reaction

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - People around the world are mourning the loss of music legend Fats Domino, but for those in the Lower Ninth Ward, Domino left his mark on more than just music.

At the corner of Caffin and Marais, it was hard to stand still as the music of Fats Domino spilled into the streets, uniting neighbors, friends and fans, young and old.

"He was such a great man - sweet, kind, generous," said family friend Richard Allen.

A steady stream of mourners stopped at his yellow house, situated next door to Fats Domino's old home. They paid tribute to the music icon with flowers, candles, photos, records and, of course, music.

Yet, for those who knew Fats Domino, his legacy is more than the music he left behind.

"It's like family, Mr. Fats. Lived in the neighborhood. He was never a big star to us," said local musician Douglas Hill.

A staple in the neighborhood, neighbors admired Domino for staying true to his roots.

"You know, he was just a normal, normal guy," said family friend Chuck Mercadel.

"He had enough means to live in Hollywood, anywhere he wanted to live, but he stood down here," said Allen .

Allen remembers Domino as his father's close friend and as a fantastic cook.

"I used to go to St. David's school, and for lunchtime I would sneak out of school and come over here and eat whatever he was cooking - crawfish bisque, slice of rum cake," recalled Allen.

Allen says Domino helped motivate him to become the man he is today.

"He inspired me to cook, he inspired me to get an education, just to do better," said Allen.

While the world will remember him for his music, those in the ninth ward, will always consider Fats family.

"He's going to be missed by a lot of people," said Allen.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.