Hurricane Katrina. Wow. What can one say? What a tragic disaster this is….
Once, in my college days, I hitchhiked from Galveston, Texas to New Orleans. My roomate and I had a blast spending a day and a night there. It took us about 10 hours to get there (it’s an 8 hour drive by car). We made **amazing** time. Got a really long haul on the back of a new car carrier. We strolled down Bourbon Street, found some incredible live music joints way off the beaten tourist path and partied all night. Around 6:00am, we finally slept on some park benches right by the Mississippi, right on a levee.
We were woken up at about 9:00 that morning by two of the biggest cops I’ve ever seen. They were actually amazing friendly considering they were waking up two 19 year old college kids who looked like trouble. They pointed us toward I-10 and told us to get the hell out of their town.
So we thumbed our way back to Galveston. Got a ride from some guy named Chicken George that was hammering gin straight out of the bottle. It took us 10 hours to get there, It took us 34 hours to get home.
I never did make it back to New Orleans.
Now I wonder if I ever will.
Some of the media coverage of this really irritates me. Blaming global warming really irritates me. Looters really irritate me. I’ll pardon someone for taking some food or water. But some guy using air mattresses to float a plasma TV through the French Quarter is rediculous. He oughta be shot.
It’s hard to have sympathy for the people who had the opportunity to evacuate and chose not to. Those people just aren’t very bright. You didn’t need a degree in meteorology to see the satellite image of Katrina and know that storm was going to lay waste to a large swath of coastline.
I do however feel really sorry for those that lost everything. A lot of people have had their lives destroyed. Some people say, “that’s what they get for living there. They knew the risks”. What crap. Sure they know (or should know) the risks of living below sea level on a warm water coast. But that doesn’t make all this “OK”. I choose to live in a 900 degree desert. People in California choose to live on a fault line. My father chooses to live in the shadow of an active volcano.
We don’t choose to live where we live for the HAZARDS and the POTENTIAL of danger. We all choose to live where we live for a multitude of reasons. Some good, some make no sense. But I seriously doubt anyone chooses to live in the Rockies because they HOPE to be burried in an avalanche.
So to the people of New Orleans (and Buloxi, Gulfport, Mobile, and the DOZENS of places we’ll never hear on the news) I wish you God’s speed. You *will* make it through this. We will help however we can. Keep your chins up, stand tall and be proud of who you are and where you’re from. God Bless you all.
TO DONATE: CharityNavigator.org
(be watchful! There are countless pieces of worthless “people” out there already scamming good-hearted folks who are trying to help. Make sure you give to a known charity. Remember, every dime counts.)