I just returned from
I stayed with friends in the suburbs where life goes on as usual... more or less. When my hosts ran into people he hadn’t seen in some time the greeting was not how are you doing? Or what’s up? But how’s your house? What have you lost?
My husband and I drove out to Lakeview. Unlike the now famous 9th Ward, Lakeview was home to middle-class and upper-middle-class families mostly white. These were people who’d made it, who’d bought a home between
For the most part these houses survived Katrina, the earthen levees along the lake held, but not those around the
In each of these neat, modern homes were families who before the storm worried about what we all worry about-- how to pay the mortgage, why weren’t their children applying themselves in school, how to build their business, or the stupidity of their bosses. Regular things. Now their lives have been changed forever. It’s as if the raised cemeteries spread out to cover over half the city. The freeway underpasses are still burial grounds for hundreds maybe thousands of abandoned cars.
Ed Reams, tv news reporter at WDSU was kind enough to give me a tour of the station and let me shadow him to research my next novel. Seven months after the hurricane, local news is still all about aftermath Katrina. http://www.wdsu.com/index.html The flood maps, new homes projected, and FEMA’s refusal to renegotiate no-bid contracts. Their coverage of local crime is no longer, “if it bleeds it leads,” but about contractor fraud.
And still the music, the cultural life of the city goes on. More next time.