Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Few Hours, A Couple Years Ago

August 29, 2005. We were awake early, watching the news.

Until the power went out. That was 6:32AM.

We would live our lives from sunrise to sunset for the next 8 days.

Monday was spent restlessly trying to nap or
read or in attempts at banal conversation.

The winds blew ceaselessly
- imagine the wax-paper-on-a-comb noise,
extrapolated to door-size shutters.

We dubbed the cacaphony "Satan's Harmonica."

After the worst of the storm had passed us,
we ventured outside to survey the devastation.

What we saw was bad - tree carnage,
mostly,and bits of the copper roof of
the Old US Mint strewn over ten blocks.

All the beautiful Magnolias in the St. Louis Cathedral
garden had succumbed to the force of the wind
- but in the midst of the wreckage,
the Mardi Gras Jesus still stood, unharmed.

(Forgive the sacrilege, please. The statue is of Jesus
with his arms raised up in the classic
"Throw Me Somthin', Mister!" pose.)

This was still hours before the levees gave way.

We had only sporadic radio reception,
but were inundated with rumors of the ugliest stripe.

We did not yet know the worst of it all.

And it was three days later before we finally left New Orleans.

8 comment(s):

soccer mom in denial

I'm feeling the fear again of not hearing from people we cared about.

I know this is hard to do but I am so glad, so proud, that you are sharing this.


painted maypole

i can't imagine having been here for it. Brave man.

love that doorway picture.


No words, just hugs.

Flower Child

I remember that time very clearly from afar. Can't imagine having been there. So scary.


These images are devastating and you're doing an astonishing job of making those horrors come to life.


thanks for sharing and making us aware


I only wish everyone could come home. Thanks for keeping this out there. And many hugs.


This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing...

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