Katrina's macho cousin Ernesto threatens to slap us around for all the trash we've been talking

Yesterday, I spent part of the morning shoveling the gutting remains of a house on St. Roch while one of the owners sat in the back room surrounded by his remaining possessions, including some remarkable paintings he'd done of the neighbhorhood in his youth. The night before I'd received a call from old woman in Texas who was trying to find Thelma Foster, her daughter, who supposedly lives not very far from me. "They don't know I'm still alive," the woman said, yet she didn't seem to understand that I didn't know who her daughter was, and she couldn't give me a specific address of where I might find her. Thelma, are you out there somewhere?

At Bacchanal, our commemoration of last year's wine-tasting was cut short by talk of Ernesto, and whether we should be booking hotel rooms now, just in case. Today it looks like he may spare us, but not Florida.

A year ago, I had made it to Mississippi, where I thought the dogs and I would be safe:

Sunday, August 28, 2005
We escaped...
This morning I woke up, looked at the flood map that had been posted online, and decided to bolt. While I was getting the car ready, Sula ran away and I had to chase her five blocks while people who were loading their cars screamed in horror. Afterwards, it was kind of funny. But at the time I was terrified that I was going to have to leave New Orleans with only two of three dogs.

This is what I managed to take: Three dogs, three dog crates, a change of clothes, dog food, some wine and cheese.

Everything else, I think I'll never see again.


Linda Berris said…
Until yesterday I never noticed the archived posts dated back into last year...so, I started reading the archives beginning just before Katrina. So far, I've only gotten up to the point where you and the dogs returned to NO. It's taking awhile to read everything because the whole chronicle is so moving that I need to take breaks. I recognize chunks of it from The Dogs Who Found Me, but there's so much more here. It's a remarkable record, and so beautifully written, so..."in the moment"...that I lost all track of time reading. I just can't imagine what this must have been like for you and the animals...not to mention the many many others affected by this horrible experience. I think that the part that struck the deepest chord was where, after chronicling how hard it was for you to escape, find shelter, register for funds, etc., you note how much worse this must have been like for people *without* family/cars/friends to help.

Thanks for documenting this in such an open and honest way, Ken, and for speaking out for others. It's something a whole lot of people need to read--especially the ones who say "oh, everyone should have just left sooner".

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