It's our fourth day in New Orleans. I'm reading 1 Dead in Attic, by Chris Rose, a little 158-page collection of columns and stories he wrote between August through December 2005. Rose, previously an entertainment reporter for the Times-Picayune, talks the reader through his impressions and observations during the five months following Katrina. The book is available online at Amazon. This article, "1 Dead in Attic" (November 15, 2005), comments powerfully on the people who survived Katrina.
Yesterday, we drove through the 9th Ward in the Guv's 1975 Toyota, visited his house in the early stages of rehabbing (2 feet of water throughout meant he had to work down to the bones of his house, removing moldy sheetrock. Strands of Mardi Gras beads hang outside, next to that cryptic and undecipherable code painted on by the police and the National Guard in the first sweep through the neighborhoods in the days following Katrina. He's got some of the wiring in, most of the new sheetrock put up and plastered, and a plan: Build a fence first to keep the looters out.
Last night we visited WWOZ for the Guv's Monday night show, "The Governor's Mansion," two hours of an eclectic tour de force: Dinah Washington, Irma Thomas, Tom Waits, Etta James, Blood, Sweat and Tears; Fred Astaire, Paul Simon, Sonny and Cher, Judy Roderick, Norah Jones, and ending with the inimitable Doctor John. I sat in the tiny control room, watching the Gov spin his CDs, surrounded by bookshelves of at least 5,000 more CDs, a little window looking out over the French Market, rain, frequent lightning, and severe storm warnings punctuating the sound of New Orleans, music and more music filling us up and keeping the storms away. Just like other PBS stations, WWOZ, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, is holding its pledge drive. Jump over and visit their page. You can listen online. You can make a pledge.