Thursday, January 18, 2007
I talked with my daughter’s childhood friend Christine in New Orleans over the holidays. I tried to get her to come spend some of the holidays with us, but she’s not able yet.
Seems like New Orleans is having a crime wave “again.”
On Jan. 10, 2007, there had been nine murders in the “Big Easy.”
Murder isn’t what Christine is worried about though.
She’s trying to rebuild the house that her dad grew up in and where Christine has spent a good part of her adult years. After the death of her parents, Christine lived with her grandmother in the little house on Piedmont until Hurricane Katrina came calling.
The house stayed underwater for months and after the water receded, Christine still wasn’t able to get into the house for a long time.
Several months ago, Dana and I went to New Orleans to help Christine get her door open and into the house. I also wanted to get her out somewhere and for a few hours anyway, make her have a bit of fun.
Christine is living in one of those FEMA travel trailers — one she had to pay for herself. As of today, she has not received one dime from FEMA or any other organization. All the paperwork was filed in Granma’s name and at her death, several weeks after Katrina, from kidney failure and shock, all the paperwork became invalid — according to the officials anyway.
Never mind that Christine and Granma have lived together with Christine taking care of her for many years. Never mind that Christine is her sole heir. Never mind that in Granma’s will, Christine is designated as beneficiary. Apparently, for FEMA, it’s just “never mind,” for Christine.
Volunteers have come and helped Christine strip the house to the foundation. Now, the little house on Piedmont is basically a shell.
And Christine is afraid to leave it and her travel trailer.
I’ve often wished that Christine and her grandmother had lived in Biloxi, or anywhere on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
I am decidedly not a Republican, but I am very proud of what Gov. Barbour, the Mississippi government and Mississippi organizations, have done with hurricane relief .
From what I understand, relief efforts, help, aid, comfort and money have been readily available for Mississippians.
Not so for New Orleans, as I understand Christine is not the only one struggling alone.
And now, the folks in New Orleans are killing each other.
How much more can residents of the “Big Easy” take?
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