There Are Times

Feeding New Orleans

Thankfully, those I know who have been hit by Katrina are safe and sound, having evacuated their homes before the storm hit.  Although some, like Danielle, aren't sure where they are going to relocate, they realize that the most important thing is that their families and loved ones are safe.  I finally reached her via text message -- it was impossible to get through any other way -- and Sue, Nancy and I called her together.  Given the fact that her house was entirely destroyed, she sounded calm and composed and ready to try and move forward.  Yesterday, after an announcement that the E train wasn't sticking to its ordinary route, I popped out and ran into my friend Ana, who was scheduled to get married in Pass Christian, Mississippi later this month.  We had already corresponded earlier this week about the wedding -- I hadn't made travel plans yet -- her response was "if you were considering coming down for the wedding, hold off.  I'm pretty sure the church and the reception site are gone."  We walked across town together, and she told me about all that she and her family have been dealing with over the past few days.

But these are the lucky ones.  As some of you may know, I was heavily involved in the pro bono legal work surrounding 9/11, and I'll be participating in a call next week with bar and legal services leaders from the impacted states, as well as the ABA and others.  Until the legal work gets underway, I've donated money to America's Second Harvest, and would encourage you all to give there or elsewhere if you haven't already.  I selected that organization in particular because of the times New Orleans has been there to feed me -- both my body and my soul:  two New Years' Eves, two Jazz Fests, late night burgers at the Clover Grill, soft shell crab po' boys, Rebirth, Kermit Ruffins, Ozomatli, the Mermaid, the generosity of Arielle's family and Danielle and Alan, and so many other great memories.  I figured I could at least try to return the favor in their time of need.

UPDATE:  Since the timing is right and I'm happy to be part of something so good in the blogosphere, the Hurricane Katrina Blog for Relief weekend, outlined here and here.

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