Sunday, December 18, 2005

Katrina Encours et Toujours XXIX

For previous postings, please see

Tonight we drove into NO from VA. It was a rainy day, and there wasn't much to see as the sun set on us at the LA-MS border. There was a palpable sense of excitement as the sign welcoming us to LA said "Welcome to Louisiana - Bienvenue en Louisiane". And then, as if on cue, we switched to 99.5 WRNO, the "Rock of New Orleans," an old classic rock station that only became classic rock in the mid-1980's when its rather bizarre owner decided that all musical development ended with Styx. That station has always acted like a security blanked for us old NO natives returning home, especially as they always feature the old local bands' "who's behind the door?" song which the rest of the country has long since forgotten about.

Beyond the song, there was the rotten old highway, which has for years been behind the Mississippi roads that we had just left. And after we had been in WRNO's range, they made a joke: "giving it to Katrina", which somehow felt perfect at that moment.

After we had driven into LaPlace, which was normal enough, we ended up in Kenner, which for some unknown reason had a huge traffic jam. Once sorted through that, and the blown away hotel or two along the way, we went off to the West End exit, and circled back to the bonnabel exit that wasn't so bad. Basically, West End was nothing but darkness, contracter pickups, contractor signs on the median advertising their wares along with newly re-opened businesses, and a couple of lonely pickup trucks heading to their contractor destinations. Then up to Bonnabel, which was flooded with such signs.

Then it was a sashay down I-610 to Franklin, where the whole city was done up in streetlights, but no house lights were on. And then, and this is the bizarre thing, I got into Marigny, and the Upper 9th, and all was fine again, at least at some level. I found some folks. I found the old bars, and all looked sorta normal. It's bizrre, it's unhinged, and it's a goner. And there we are.

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