|08-29-2007, 04:24 PM||#421|
Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Local Time: 03:05 PM
this is the day the W kisses the Negroes
doin' a heck of a job there bushie
|08-29-2007, 05:16 PM||#423|
Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Nov 2002
Local Time: 06:05 PM
Two years later and I guess everything is hunky dory I guess
Something I read this morning-just one man's story
2 years later, clouds linger
By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Columnist | August 29, 2007
PLYMOUTH -- Two years ago today, the life Patrick Wooten knew disappeared beneath Katrina's deluge.
At first, he tried to wait out the flood, huddled with his wife and two of their kids in his mother's house in Algiers. He tried to protect them, first from the water, then from the shootings that filled the dark nights.
Eventually, he gave up, went outside, and waved his shirt to draw the helicopter. He agreed to be flown out of Louisiana, wanted to be as far from Katrina as possible. When he found out he and his family were coming to Massachusetts he was happy, because that seemed good and far.
At Otis Air National Guard Base, he and the other 235 evacuees were swarmed by eager volunteers. He had had his own construction business in New Orleans, but he really wanted to be a chef. He cooked at a fund-raiser, and everybody loved the food. All kinds of job offers came -- construction, maintenance, catering. People donated clothes and a car. South Shore Housing helped find his family a rental property that took a Section 8 voucher.
Governor Mitt Romney invited him to the State House twice, and he spoke at Harvard University. He was the evacuees' ambassador, the happy transplant with the giant smile and the high hopes.
Massachusetts was "the other side of the rainbow and the other side of heaven," Wooten told the Globe three months after he arrived.
"I planted a seed here," he says now of his decision to settle in this state.
At first, there were so many people invested in helping that seed grow. But nobody really knew how long it would take the traumatized émigrés to get back on their feet.
Eventually, the donations ebbed. The car broke down. Social service agencies stopped checking on the Wootens. Everybody moved on.
Without the speeches and the volunteers and the newness to distract him, awful images began bobbing up in Wooten's head.
The floating bodies. The shooting victims in his mother's backyard. The police surrounding him with guns as he tried to deliver food from a nearby church to neighbors. The jammed, frigid airport, where he and his family wrapped themselves in fetid blankets.
Wooten, 43, says he couldn't concentrate on work any more. His understanding bosses told him go home, come back when you feel better. In May, he broke his knee on a maintenance job. Out of work and out of money, he had nothing but time to think.
He thought about all the people in New Orleans who still didn't have a decent home. He thought about his two daughters who had returned there, one robbed at gunpoint at her convenience store job, the other almost raped. He thought about the seven relatives who had died since he left and the funerals he had missed.
He saw no path to the things he once thought would be possible in his new home: getting his daughters back here, finding a reliable car, paying the bills, attending culinary school.
On July 26, as his panicked wife and stepsons looked on, Wooten tried to slash himself with a machete and jump from a window in his third-story apartment in Plymouth.
The police got there in time to stop him, and he spent a week at McLean Hospital.
Now he's surrounded by mental health workers eager to help him, just as he was surrounded by volunteers when he first arrived here.
"It's a shame I had to try to commit suicide for me to put my point across," he says.
He is still broken, just as the city he left remains broken two years after the levees failed.
He wouldn't want to be back there, Wooten says. He still likes to think of Massachusetts as the end of the rainbow.
He just hadn't counted on Katrina following him here.
How livable is New Orleans?
|08-29-2007, 06:13 PM||#424|
Blue Crack Supplier
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 8 years and I still can't think of anything witty to put here
Local Time: 06:05 PM
There is a discussion about Bush re: Katrina two years later on Hardball right now. It's pretty scathing.
"It's pretty locked in that's he's an incompetent President now." - Pat Buchanan.
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