... every place I know and love intimately at street level, and have known since 1964, is gone or not likely to be back.
Buildings are empty shells without people. We in New Orleans love our old buildings with rabid passion. We take perverse civic pride in our decaying Victorians and meticulously restored French Quarter buildings. But I worry about the people. My people. We in New Orleans, in Southeast Louisiana, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in Mobile, are a nation in the strictest sense of the word. We are a culture that is poorly understood by outsiders, caricaturized offensively by Hollywood, and desperately poor on the whole.
Yet we do the nation's dirty work. We drill the oil in your SUVs. We refine the chemicals (and suffer the cancer) that creates all manner of plastic, gasoline, and other necessities that you use each day. We catch the shrimp and the oysters and the fish that you eat. We move your truckloads of consumer items into and out of ships and trains and trucks. We entertain you with the very best music on Earth. We are eager to share our special times with you--Carnival, all our festivals and celebrations. We love to play host to you and show you around.
Now, we need you. We need you more than ever. Wherever you are in the world, think of the millions affected by this storm. We are poor people and desperate, but we are proud people. Some few of us have, either through character defect or sheer human hunger and desperation, have broken into stores. You have seen their images. So many more of us are dispersed across the country, now out of money, gasoline, cell phone time, medicine, diapers, and hope. We are in your town, in the motel off the interstate, in the local shelter, in our cousin's or sister's home, and we have brought our entire family with us. We are traveling light with the clothes on our backs. We also are traveling heavy under an invisible burden of memory and misery.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Time to Give Back
From the blog KD5QEL Hurricane Katrina Info: