NOLA--what a magical place, what a resilient place...the people are amazing.
We ventured down to the Garden District for lunch at a place call Jacqaue Imo's. We borrowed my uncle's little yellow car and headed on down but with my luck we couldn't find it. Starving, we headed back to the quarter, I dropped Judy off at the Central Grocery store for a muffalata and I headed to Coop's for the best and yes I mean the best fried chicken, jumbalaya and a strawberry Abita. mmmm good.
We then rested a bit and drove out the St. Bernard's Parrish to help volunteer in a Pep Rally celebrating the good and the progress of this 550 sq. mile community. The theater was packed with citizens, cheer leaders, dignitaries and a couple of CA girls. We helped hand out t shirts, stickers and car magnets. The stories continued to amaze me. Before we left the theater Judy turned to me and said all of these people lost their homes. Reality hit.
I met a small family of three who moved to Mississippi bought a house but wanted to move back to the place they called home. They missed the Parrish. They lost two homes, their residence and a rental. It took almost 4 years but they are finally moving back in a couple of weeks. Tragedy aside, they still have the problem of selling their Mississippi house. The part I was amazed at was they never took the smiles off of their faces.
I also met the Principal of the middle and high school, who only 4 months after the storm told the Federal Government that if they didn't put up the money to help rebuild the two schools that she would do it any way and send them a bill.
Good for her--a true hero.
Exhausted and inspired we headed back to the Parrish for some good food and good people watching. I had to have a shrimp Po Boy.
One more story for the day, Judy was being teased by a bouncer and she asked him what his Katrina story was. He had lived in the Parrish and to keep looters out he had a shot gun by his bed. One night he saw three men outside and they tried to loot the bouncers home, he shot at them and with tears in his eyes said he may have even killed one of them. He doesn't know for sure, but said he can't forget that night. He hadn't been back to the Parrish since then and when Judy told him of the progress, he was adminent that he would never go back, never. He just couldn't talk himself into it. He couldn't forget.
Another inspiring day in NOLA.