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Out of Our Minds
Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:38 PM
From the Katrina Frontlines
Anita Sharpe on In the News

Worthwhile friend Gini Steele sent us this post from her recent trip to the Gulf, where she drove an elderly friend back home to see if anything could be salvaged from her home. We're interested in your stories, especially what you or your companies are doing to help.

'My trip to the gulf this weekend was more draining both physically and emotionally than I could ever have imagined. The trip to Bay St. Louis (35 miles from New Orleans) was surreal. I drove a total of 1,200 miles in a very short period of time and encountered devastation that was beyond belief. I've never seen a war zone but imagine that what I saw looked very similar. Being a native southerner, I couldn't believe I was in the deepest south and there was a total absence of shade. There was nothing green, not even a blade of grass. There was, however, an abundance of brown, all mud, muck and dead trees. A black oozing sludge here and there. The stench was unbearable, it's putridness evident through Vick's VapoRub and a face mask. Biting black flies and mosquitos were in chorus as they buzzed about my face, their noise cancelled out only by the whap, whap, whap of a helicopter overhead or the megaphone bleatings of an exhausted Red Cross worker 'this is the Red Cross, we have hot meals and cool drinks'. It was way, way too hot to eat but the cool drink was God-sent. I saw sheet music fluttering in the dead leaves of a downed oak tree and ironically it was the music for 'It's a Wonderful World' - with the first line 'There are trees of green, red roses too'. Poignant, huh? I'm grateful to be home.

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