NEW ORLEANS – Talk about a mash-up between old and new: the man who will reign over the oldest krewe in Carnival, the grand-daddy of them all, founded in 1872 is.....?
A modern technology genius who enjoys writing computer code.
Meet Rex 2018: Lynes “Poco” Sloss, president and CEO of Bellwether Technology, a computer management system for clients across the country. But nothing compares to being the King of Carnival.
“It’s spectacular to be king,” says Sloss, “I can’t wait to be at the parade and the ball, and the closer we get, the drums are beating louder every day, and I’m really, really excited about it.”
As always, the selection was secret – a pow-pow of Rex higher-ups who manage to fool each year’s monarch until they reveal the surprise. This year, Sloss had been told that someone else would wear the crown, and he was part of a small group that would share the good news.
“We were all set up for this person to come, sitting in a boardroom,” says Sloss, “The champagne was on ice and the (Rex) Captain said there’s someone sitting in this room who hasn’t been Rex and he really should be—and they all turned to me and went: Poco! And I was like, ‘Man, you guys really got me.’ It was hilarious.”
Riding on the King’s float in the Rex parade, throwing beads and toasting the Mayor at Gallier Hall, will be a new experience for Sloss, but he’s been in charge of the Rex Ball for years. Still, if he wants some last minute advice on how to navigate the carefully choreographed affair, he could turn to his daughter, Nina, who was the Rex Queen of 2013. She’s living in New York these days.
“She came in to town and I had a brief hello before she went off to see her friends,” laughs Sloss. “She just asked me for $20 so she could get lunch—that’s the only tip I could get from her!”
Away from his royal duties, Sloss enjoys duck hunting and traveling. He says that when he turned 55 (he’s a young 64 today) he told his wife Liz that if he was ever going to learn to fly a plane, he'd better do it.
He did, and then he bought his own plane.
It’s been one adventure after another for Sloss, who says he liked his life before the honor of being named Rex, and he’ll like his life when his brief rule is over.
“Everybody tells me it goes by before you know it,” says Sloss, as he tells the story of a former Rex who woke up on Ash Wednesday and heard a command from his wife.
“Yesterday you were the king,” the wife said, “today, you can take out the trash.”