Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Third Flood

I went out yesterday to again check on things out in Lakeview and retrieve a few more photos and some of my sister's artwork that were salvageable. What I discovered is that Catina St. has been cleared of the massive downed pine trees, but in doing so, they broke a water main which had been captured by the root system of a huge tree. The yards on that block are again under almost a foot of water... lol. Not a problem for any real flooding, of course, but it makes me keep harkening back to what I would say about that street... First to flood, last to drain. I did catch myself thinking almost immediately about replanting pines and oaks.

I spoke with Kelsey (pet rescue) this morning... yesterday she was on an airboat out in New Iberia when she caught a strange gust of wind and was flown out of the boat into a huge oak tree. She's fine - plenty of painkillers and rest, well deserved. I also know that the local press is planning a story about her. Very cool. Potentially titled - New Orleans Debutante Gone Wild, Wades Through Muck - Breaks Into Homes To Steal Pets... I know it's too long for a title... but it's true.

I wanted to take the time too answer a few questions...

My Travel Plans: Still tenatively scheduled to hit the road for the west next week, starting with drinking beer in Franklin, LA and staying with the Evans' family for a night. Then slow, long highways through Texas to Santa Fe, NM. After that, up to Boulder, CO where I lived for two years in the early 90's.

The Blog: I don't know. I'll probably post off of my cellphone throughout my drive - who knows maybe that'll be interesting? I understand that through normal burnout, interest will plummett for the site, and I'm completely fine with that. It has been a great source of strength and focus for me throughout - it has done it's job for me... and amazingly, it apparantly helped others. What a cool thing that is.

Something that I really started as a joke regarding racing sailboats while drinking beer and yacht club bar stories, could suddenly within barely two weeks become a lifeline, a focus, a diversion and in many ways a method for me to wrap my head around what was happening.

When I get back, my family, friends and I will be working to reclaim what we can - so I'll post about those experiences for a time. After that, I will probably just kill GulfSails. I to a small degree think of my relation to this blog in the way that the people of this city relate to the Superdome. To New Orleanians, the Dome is one of our most beloved buildings. The Saints were demanding a new stadium, but there was a huge outcry for nothing to happen to it... Until Katrina and what happened there... I really think that with the events at the dome, it was the only way New Orleanians could and would make the mental and emotional break with that building. I will also have to make a mental and emotional break with this.

• ed g. asked about Sunshine Canyon and Neopolitan's... Sunshine Canyon is where I lived in Boulder. About seven miles up into the Rockies, no neighbors for 200 yards, hiking to old silver mines, getting snowed in - great memories. Neo's is a dirt cheap and incredible little Italian restaurant about a twenty minute ride up gravel mountain roads - in the winter it's always warm inside, and the wine cheap and served by the carafe.

• Jackie asked if I like Canadian beer... I have no bias towards any adult beverages, although I am partial to rum drinks and one of our local beers, Abita Wheat.

• Anonymous asked about the scientists who crashed at the house... neither knows what's to happen (I don't think) with their positions. They both were working on their Ph.d's while teaching either at UNO or Tulane...

• Ames in metro Detroit asked about other boats which survived... The Reason Why was in a VERY well built and protected marina on the lake. I'd say that 80% or more of the boats made out. Municipal Harbor, the largest, was ugly. South Shore Harbor, I don't have much info on.

• Regarding Josh Norman's comment -- that is a fantastic piece of writing and very true. For that first two weeks, I was misplacing EVERYTHING.

• Anonymous from Germany pointed out that I look like a German comedian... lol, I checked him out... God I hope not. I did however notice today in the first beard I've ever grown, four grey hairs. Damn!

Thanks again to everyone for their kind words, support and offers of beer. It has definately helped...

I think that tomorrow night I will be headed down to the Quarter for drinks at Molly's At The Market... I can't believe that I haven't done it yet. And yes, I'll have my camera.

Saturday, there will be a fairly big effort for salvage at two houses in Lakeview, my friends and ours... for most of the people it will be their first time back... should be some interesting perspective and commentary.


This is a plaque my Grandmother kept in her 'mature' garden in Lakeview. It's still there, the plaque that is.


Anonymous Jackie said...

Hey Troy,
Jackie, "The Canadian Beer Girl" here again. I know you're a busy guy...But, I have to tell you a little story. I work in consulting in the Transportation Industry, and last week a local trucking company, owned by a very generous gentleman asked me for some help. He and his family had arranged to donate 5 camper trailers, and daily living supplies to some folks at a sister church down near Pascagoula LA. Now, he's a local guy, and doesn't have permits set up to run his transport trucks in to the US on a regualr basis, hence where I came in. I called several permitting agencies and found out that the US would in fact let his equipment in, on this state of emergency basis, and that I just needed the state waivers to get him through. I called FEMA at the permit agencies suggestion and can you believe they knew NOTHING. They could not figure out HOW to get these trucks in to the US with supplies for the the relief effort. I was flabergasted. "What a bunch of morons..." was all that kept running through my mind. I eventually did a LOT of research, and got all my permits...but Lord Luv A Duck...These people were useless. Not to mention it cost me a fortune in long distance just sitting around waiting for people to pass me on to the next guy who "might know something about that". Ya'll certainly have your work cut out for you. Dealing with a government agency like that can't be easy, no matter which way you slice it.
Strangly, I feel that I have gotten to know you (and your friends and family) over the days and I wish you all the best. Obviously, "the south" is in your blood. You didin't mention any travel plans north of the 49th parallel....LOL....Thats okay, I understand. Boring 'Ol Canada... (Just Kidding!!)
Please take care of yourself.... You are a good and decent person. I have enjoyed your writings tremendously over the last several weeks...and will continue reading 'til the bitter end.

2:59 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to see this blog end. I've been following since I came across it the day after Katrina hit.

4:48 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there needs to be a description for folks who are now leaving. Does New Orleans Post Evacuation Evacuee have a ring to it? ;>

Sorry for the bathroom humor.

Safe travels.

Madison, WI

4:53 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. Messed up above. As I said, hate to see this blog end. I've been following since I came across it the day after Katrina hit. I've sent the link to a number of people, who have also found your on-site perspective to be fascinating. I live in South Texas, so we're also faced with hurricane possibilities. We haven't had a major hurricane hit here since 1967, and were just brushed by Emily this year. Katrina and Rita have been eye-opening to us, and have really influenced our future hurricane preparedness.

By the way, I love Abita beer! Can't find it where I live, and always have to buy a load when I travel up the state. How did the brewery fare?

Thanks for your missives from the front line. Best of luck to you.

4:54 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous ames said...

To be honest, Troy - how can i put this.... Your postings do indeed sounds measured and you really do need a break - and kinda a big one away from the blog thing.

Sounds like Colorado will be relaxing, fun & healthy.

Set up a way to email us all so if you have any news to share, we hear about it. If you and your family need help of some sort in some way, let us know.

We've come to your site for a reason - we admire your guts and goodness, and we are here.

(hey, you'll have to email me with your SA identity -- or...not ha ha, my curiosity is peaked...i thought you were "fly on the wall" 'cause he seems to be quite informative on this, but i think he's actually from northern California! ha ha) Take care! : )

Best, ames

7:52 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep us informed about that article that is supposed to be done on Kelsey (who deserves the medal of honor-my hero-I will never forget her,ever)

7:59 PM, September 29, 2005  
Blogger George A. said...

Hey Troy,
I dont know how these blog sites work but i, along with the hundreds of other people who have frequented your blog, would be very upset if this blog was deleted from existence. Please consider publishing this so that in the future all the new orleanians (and others) who didnt know about it can read it to see what was actually was going on in new orleans during this whole thing. Have fun and get some r&r during your vacation. God Bless.

P.S. Im dead serious about the publishing.

8:20 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on Kelsey-- not to mention you, IIRC you got a few scratches helping her out at one point. Serious here-- if the local media do a piece on her try to let us know, maybe if it's print we can get a copy.

Ditto on the blog being a good source of info.

Actually, I hope you leave it up awhile, even if you don't update.

Thanks, from Florida

8:32 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you can make it down here, I'll buy us a bottle of the best rum in the world, (from Haiti) and throw away the cap, and start sharing sailing, hurricane, and rum drinking stories. (probably starting with one about sailing a gaff-rigged schooner through the U.S. blockade of Haiti a few years ago, to pick up 50 cases of the same rum.)

You (and "we" through your blog) have experienced one very human facet of a historic event. You have presented your experiences to us with articulate passion.

The grist for many books, Phd's etc. shall be gathered from your (and other's) blogs. It is amazing and wonder-full to have been able to read your words, and see your photo's. Tears came to my eyes, more than once.

Come on down... sailing, diving, rum drinking.... in what ever order you wish.

Thanks again.

You Rock.

Chill out.

Have some fun.

B. Nelson
(649) 946-5007

Turks and Caicos Islands
(Between Bahamas & Haiti)

8:57 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous bsb said...

hey -- if you saw this blog promoted on SA...I'm in on this offer, too! : ) bsb

9:21 PM, September 29, 2005  
Blogger ECP said...

Troy, a few points:

One: Thanks for the updates on the scientists; I am a Postdoc in Little Rock and if they want any contacts here we have (for most) some suprisingly world-class science going on. Pass along my email address.

Two: I too lived in Boulder in the early 90's after undergrad (summer of 92 to be exact). I worked at the Walnut Brewery and Flagstaff House in my unfettered days. A dim corner of my memory tells me I might have played pool at the Walrus a night or two followed by breakfast at Lucille's. Kiss an Aspen for me.

Three: To B. Nelson: If Troy does not take you up on your offer, a bottle of fine rum is never wasted on us, and Turks and Caicos sounds very good right about now.


9:57 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you cease this blog, we will all suffer a great loss. I look forward to the rebuilding of this great American city, and I cannot think of a better, more qualified person to report this rebuilding. This blog has been both entertaining and inspirational.

God speed.

10:50 PM, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Mary Hunt said...

Hi, I'm in Austin, Texas. I'm a former resident of New Orleans, I lived at 6928 Catina St.(and Moss St., and above The Quarter Scene at Dumaine and Dauphine......) Your blog has been an important connection for me. I am so sorry for your losses.......If you travel through Austin, my husband and I will gladly provide you a homecooked dinner, Abita beer (or libation of your choosing) and up-beat conversation. Would love to keep hearing about your travels and the eventual re-build of a city that I hope I will, one day, be my place of residence again. Many thoughts are with you from everywhere.

8:00 AM, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Troy
Just to support what "george a" said: It would be a great loss if your blog disappeared without trace. It should be published. It should be kept & cherished.

It may sound pretentious, but I do believe your blog will, in time, become an important historical reference.

There have been precious few 1st person, real-time accounts of life in the Hell after Katrina - and none which are as warm and human as yours. Thank you for your truth and honesty.

Anyhoo - have a bloody good break. I hope everything works out OK for you and, of course, all of NOLA.

PS: FYI - since you asked, I'm a Brit living in the UK and haven't posted before.

8:04 AM, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


One of the scientists checking in. For whoever was asking, I'll be resuming some coursework online within the next few weeks and my fellowship is still being paid this fall. UNO has made it through in fairly decent shape and they're expecting a return to normal for the spring semester. I just hope Alice and I can return to our home by then.


9:14 AM, September 30, 2005  
Blogger Ray in New Orleans said...

Hey, if you're passing through Austin, shoot me an email. We can get you a proper po-boy and some gumbo from some of the ex-pat chefs around here.

ragicali at yahoo dot com

10:08 AM, September 30, 2005  
Blogger WillowLu said...

It might not be as writerly but you could audio blog from the road

12:30 PM, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, must request that you don't out and out delete gulfsails- if nothing else, leave it on the internet as a record of just what happened.

Or heck, if you can get it published, that'd be great too. :)

1:37 PM, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous shambalayogi said...

Safe travels to you and please keep up the journal. You've been really informative and interesting to listen to the past few weeks.

Thanks for the blog and pics,


1:54 PM, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are you going to do in boulder? move there? vacation?
do you know people there?


3:34 PM, October 03, 2005  

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