I’m not doing too much writing this week because I’m in New Orleans at a family reunion; my father was born and raised here (De La Salle High School, LSU medical school) and today we met up with his first cousins to wander around town, finding all the houses where everyone lived forty years ago. (I’m sure plenty of people were wondering why this strange little group was standing in a knot on the road taking pictures of perfectly ordinary frame houses.)

The Katrina damage is in some ways not as bad as I’d imagined; there are far more live oaks standing than I would have thought possible.

But we drove through east New Orleans and I was flabbergasted. Two years on, it still looks like a war zone. Streets are cracked and grown up with grass, brush creeping in from the sides, huge stretches of nothingness. On street after street of previously prosperous middle-class neighborhood, houses are boarded and crumbling, with perhaps lights on in one out of ten houses. What on earth do you DO, if you’re the only person on your block who still lives there, surrounded by deserted collapsing homes where neighbors once lived?

I’ll post a few more pictures later this week.

Showing 3 comments
  • Robert H. Tench III

    Well hey Susan, I just stumbled upon your site here at work, and thought I would say hello. Things are goin well out here in Hawaii. I should be home for good come May/June. Four years have gone by quick. I cant wait to get the navy. Looks like things are goin well you and the family. I had no idea you were published, I will have to pick up a copy. I just finished “Dont Tread on Me” by H.M. Crocker. Great book. Tell everyone i said hello!


  • Lori

    That can’t be any worse than a whole swarm of people photographing a dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of nowhere at our family reunion this month. But it was the house where my grandmother and her siblings were raised, so we were interested.

    It’s hard to know what to think about New Orleans.

  • Larry_D

    Very Cool. Both my father and I graduated from DLS and attended LSU (Baton Rouge)

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