Time Heals All
Just by looking at this couple enjoying the outdoor merriment of the 26th New Orleans French Quarter Fest in April, 2006, you would not guess that nine months earlier this same real estate was being hammered by Hurricane Katrina.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas
My good friends Dick Warriner and the late Dick DeWoody, along with yours truly, used to be regular attendees and volunteers at the French Quarter Fest in New Orleans. In the aftermath of Katrina’s disastrous visit to New Orleans, we engaged in lively discussions regarding the future of the event and what our road trip alternatives might be if the event was disbanded.
Making Good Music
While the bulk of activities in the French Quarter fest are organized and orchestrated, the typical New Orleans tradition also allows that street vendors and performers are welcome participants. These performers were making good music. After I salted their bucket and engaged them in a bit of conversation, I discovered that like me, they hailed from Arkansas. I failed to take note of their hometown, but I do remember that it was far north of my Delta home stomping grounds.
Turns out, any calamitous fears we nurtured we not to be. The city, and the event organizers rebounded nicely. The event was on for 2006 and well attended. Not all French Quarter attractions and businesses had reopened by then, but the majority were in business at the same old stand including, thank goodness, the Café Du Monde at Decatur and St. Annes. New Orleans is now, alive, well, and accepting visits thank you very much.
The lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans suffered flooding in the 10-feet-deep range, well over ceiling high for most residences, after the infamous levee break initiated by Katrina’s storm surge. As we departed New Orleans after our French Quarter Fest attendance, we drove through the Ninth Ward. News accounts of the devastation were not exaggerations. Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005. I shot these pictures on April 21, 2006. The pictures speak for themselves.
There was active Mississippi River traffic in April 2006. It was not nearly as robust as we remembered from earlier visits. By 2007 traffic had rebounded. By 2008, from our observations, traffic was as if Katrina never happened.
Business as Usual
The towboat Captain Hagen is pursuing business as usual on the Mississippi River off Woldenburg Park in New Orleans during the April 2008 French Quarter Fest.
The ninth ward pictures displayed here have never been seen publicly before. They are not pretty, but they are real.
Nikon D200, ISO 200, hand-held, all; Couple, Nikkor 70-300 f4.0-5.6, 1/320 @ f4.8; Musicians, same lens, 1/400 @ f5.0; Same lens for Ninth Ward pictures. Number 1, 1/320 @ f9; Number 2, ditto; Number 3, ditto; Number 4, 1/250 @ f8
See mo’ N.O. at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,
including a camel at Audubon Park Zoo,
a woman and dog at a concert
and three more never-published-before
Ninth Ward pictures. Click and go, and enjoy this low-cal, cholesterol free, no sugar added, non-threatening treatise.