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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NOLA Evacuees

My eldest daughter's boyfriend hails from New Orleans - he grew up in Chicago, but he still has lots of family in NOLA. A group of them have evacuated to Skokie, Illinois, where Patrick's mother lives. I stopped by to visit them recently - three befuddled people, lives upended by Katrina. Two out of the three happened to be on vacation, visiting friends in Cincinatti when the storm hit. The third family member stayed in New Orleans, got flooded out of her house, got stuck in the Superdome, moved to the Houston Astrodome and finally was put on a plane to Chicago. She arrived the day of my visit. Mary (not her real name) is a 50-something woman, fairly heavy, an insulin-dependent diabetic with bad hips and knees. She had that "hundred-yard stare" usually associated with infantrymen after the battle is over. Mary was trying to play cards with the family, but gave up and found a dark room where she hid. I think the Superdome experience will be with her forever.

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