Monday, March 20, 2006

Have You Ever Robbed Somebody?

This is the picture we took at Pat O'Brien's Saturday afternoon.

Before our trip, whenever I would watch anything on television about Hurricane Katrina, whether it was PBS or Discovery Channel or Food Network, I would inevitably be crying by the end of it. We've been taking these trips to New Orleans once or twice (sometimes three times) a year for the last twelve years. When you go anywhere that often, you develop as much emotion for the people as you do for the destination.

So, when I would see something on television about the destroyed homes and lives interrupted, I would think of all of the people we've met there who were so kind and funny and full of life. We're the kind of patrons who, as often as not, enjoy the people who work in the stores and restaurants and bars and hotels wherever we happen to be and develop very nice and meaningful one or two hour superficial relationships with whoever happens to be helping us at the time.

The reason I won't be crying anymore when I see those programs on television is because of the sweet restroom lady who we've talked to in the bathroom at Pat O'Brien's a million times and who was still there. She lost everything and is living with her sister but her faith and resilience were palpable and it felt like each time she told her story that maybe the support she felt from everyone who goes in there might be making her a little stronger each day.

I came across people like her throughout my visit: the lady singing as she was straightening rooms in our hotel (I asked her if she was happy cleaning that room as I passed her in the hall and she said with a smile, "Sure am. I have to be somewhere. I just as soon be here."), the ladies who made us toast and English muffins every morning in the hotel restaurant who made you feel like it was your mom asking you what you wanted for breakfast, the people in the parades who I can only imagine what they must be living through.

So, no more tears. If they can suck it up, so can I.

Oh, about that title to this post, tomorrow's New Orleans tale:

Laurie and Melissa go to a strip club and almost join a gang.

Stay tuned.


Jack said...

I never robbed anyone, but once when I was in New Orleans I helped Judge Wisdom put on his robe. Does that count?

Word verification: gbyqsl
"Grovel before your queen," said Laurie.

Tim said...


Thank you. Every city should have a friend like you!

It's weird, but while you were here in New Orleans and not keeping up the blog, I missed you.



Neal said...

You really know how to keep people tuned in for the next posting.

Laurie said...

Jack - It depends on whether or not you picked Judge Wisdom's pocket as you helped him with his robe. I can show you how to do that.

Tim - Sometimes I wonder why I blog. Now I know one reason.

Neal - ;) I hope I can write it as funny as when it was when it actually happened.

hipster said...

wonderful stiry,really. uplifting. i go once a year but will miss this year because they moved the ponderossa stomp to memphis. guarantee next year though-look forward to more tales abiut the pole.

Jen T. (that's me) said...

I'm sure that it will be hilarious! If it's ANYTHING like our "Black Cat" story, it will be a comedic masterpiece.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Almost? Not really? Dang.

Vettacini Sheppard said...

Loved the post and glad you all had a great time. I can't wait to get down there.

Marinade Dave said...

Not only did you express the good times you had there, but you also showed some insight about how the people of NO are coping. Very good, Laurie.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Glad to hear first hand how the people of New Orleans are doing. Thanks for the N.O. update and looking forward to those promised pictures.

Lorna said...

so glad you're back, and of course, stripper poles are really good for flexibility, so get busy

Laurie said...

Hipster - Thanks.

Jen - I sure wish I could tell the whole story. Self-incrimination and all that.

Old Horsetail - The fog lifted in the nick of time.

Davie - You'll have a great time.

Dave - Thank you.

Abandoned - I have to lighten up a bunch of the pictures. I might not get them on Flickr until this weekend.

Lorna - Yeah, flexibility. That's it.