September 25, 2005

When I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a couple of months (this is years ago), I made some friends down there that I suddenly was very worried about in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My closest friend from the time, Alan, now lives in Baltimore and tracked down everybody I had met through him and let me know they were all alive. The friend we heard about last was James. Alan was starting to get quite worried because the area James lived in would be most at threat in the flooding and he hadn't heard from James for days following Katrina's outburst. When he finally located James (alive, thank GOD), he figured out why there had been no word for so long. James' story is only going to be one of thousands from the area. And his has a happy ending because he survived. But it is one of the most harrowing accounts I have ever read because it happened to somebody I know, somebody who toured me around those self-same areas of New Orleans that are now totally destroyed, somebody who was kind and fun to be with. This is James' story:

And now with Rita threatening not only New Orleans AGAIN but Houston and outlying areas as well, I am faced with worrying about another friend. Liz, I'm sure you're alright. I'm sure you've just been evacuated and can't exactly stop to call New Zealand. But I'm worried, dammit! I'm worried. So please contact me somehow just to say you're alright. I've lost a lot of places that I loved and spent a lot of time in but places can be rebuilt. People can not. Please, please contact me.

If you pray, pray now. Pray for James as he rebuilds his life. Pray for Liz as she is surely evacuated right now. Pray that she survives. Pray that everybody not only survives but thrives in the days to come.