Monday, September 19, 2005


Well, that was the first time I couldn't get into Orleans Parish... I'll try again tomorrow. Inthe meantime I received this email today - and it damn well deserves a read. Thanks for that Chuck - you've got a great handle on the city - move on back home. We need ya...



Thanks so much for your solid, no holds barred, and hold UP the homefront stance thru all of this. My kids (both New Orleans born) and I have looked to your blog daily for over 2 weeks now for the forthright, hopefilled, and encouraging news of New Orleans.

We are expatriot New Orleaneans, and, tho in absolutely no way comparable to those who have suffered thru this disaster, have been very affected by the losses. Those of us with children who are proud to be "from New Orleans" have watched them struggle with these events in some very difficult ways for them. Your spirit, your endeavours, and news of people like Kelsey and Tiffany have given them some folks to cheer for.

The kids have felt helpless, but, thanks to your blog, we have made contact with Mike and the Renew New Orleans organization. Now they are very excited about the prospect of selling RNO braclets and making their own contribution to the reclaimation of their home town. The sixth grader has helped organize "pennies for the Gulf Coast" at his school ($3000 plus, to date) and the 8th grader is participating at his school. The Middle School fund raiser is definitely in the New Orleans spirit. A lady science teacher and a HUGE football coach are the "competitors". The one who gets the most $ donated in their name is the winner. If the science teacher wins, she has to shave her head and dress like a football coach for a week. If the coach wins, he has to come to work "in drag" including heels for a week.. Needless to say, it seems the competitors are actively campainging for contributions in the others name.

Of a more thoughtful note

I just re-read your posting "Disconnect Everywhere..." Today, a statement of yours in that posting seemed to really clarify a key element of the City that Care forgot. A key element of the character of New Orleans and New Orleaneans that is completely missed by so many.

"Is New Orleans destroyed, NO. Is it about 50% destroyed... that's probably pretty close. Will it survive -- HELL YES. Will it be changed -- HELL YES. Will it be the same -- HELL YES.

Even many New Orleaneans miss the embedded fact that New Orleans IS a CONTRADICTION and has forever been one.

Her contradictory nature has been, and remains, an underlyling theme of her charm since her founding. Who, in his right mind would ever have built a city in a swamp between a powerful river and a huge brackish lake with only a skinny trail down the Esplanade ridge even connecting those two natural enemies of development?

The United States has long been known as a "melting pot" of humanity. Nowhere else in the world can, or could you find a more complete "melting pot" than the City of New Orleans. The "alloy" made from the blending of the world's metals found in the crucible formed by the crescent of the river is too strong an alloy to be destroyed by a little wind and some stinking water.

Does she have her rich and her poor? Her haves and have nots? Her grand homes and her humble abodes? Of course she does. Does she have her class, social and cultural differentiations? Of course she does. She is no different from any other city in that regard.

She differs in that these differences have never been ignored. Instead, these differences have been dignified and appreciated. These cultures, all so varied, have been blended. Amazingly blended in that each of the contributors to the recipe has conserved their individuality while becoming an integral part of this wonderful concoction we know and love as New Orleans.

From this blending has come the flavor of a city envied by every other city in the world. A flavor that brings a gleam to the eye of people all over the world when they hear the words New Orleans.

What term do we use now when we speak of what is to come?

Does she need restoration? Maybe. But what needs the restoration? Her spirit certainly remains. There is evidence of that in the very existence of those arrogant and ignorant (LOL) holdouts who still remain in her bosom.

Does she need re-building? Yes. But what was destroyed? Only some board and brick are missing. Hell half the city was built from barge board to begin with. And, think about it, the Irish Channel wouldn't exist if there hadn't been raw material to make brick and a need for those Irishmen to lay it (tho the Creoles more than did that craft justice as well).

Does she need re-newing? Maybe, but not in any sense of being intrinsically changed. That term has some implication that something needed fixing before hand. (A lot of things did, but no one outside wanted to help with that B.K. (before Katrina).

Does she need RE-CLAIMING? Oh, yes. I truly believe she does. She needs to be reclaimed by those who know her, lover her, live in her, and have lived in her.

Mayor Nagin, stick to your guns. With all due respect to Adm. Allen and little to President W, New Orleans needs HER people now to re-claim her. She survived the carpet baggers once, about a 140 years ago, she doesn't need the California, Upper East Coast and Texas cronies to further line their pockets now. She needs the dollars to pay her OWN people to reclaim her.

Now, TAG, if you've read this far, I've taken enough of your valuable time. Go forth and rally the populace! Thank you again from me and my boys. And I'm sure there are many more of us expatriots who feel the same.

Dallas Texas


Blogger Ilaine Upton said...

Yeah, you rite!

I forgot how to say that but I just remembered.

And I want one of them Tulane t-shirts.

3:07 PM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Editor B said...

Couldn't get into Orleans Parish? Hmmm... I'm mighty curious to know what happened. Were you blocked at a checkpoint? Inquiring minds want to know!

4:36 PM, September 19, 2005  

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