Greetings, many friends,
The cautious optimism of my last missive proved to be tragically off the mark, as the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina punched through the levees north and east of New Orleans in several places, flooding most of the city. Hearing nothing, I can only hope that my friends there fled.
Floods Ravage New Orleans
By Guy Gugliotta and Peter Whoriskey
The Washington Post
Of course, there are plenty of Christian scum, mostly fellow Southerners, who were only too happy to see one of the most historic and unique places in North America wiped, crediting the "wrath of God" for the destruction of wicked New Orleans:
Okay, friends, here's my plea: rather than just send checks or electronic debits to the Red Cross, is there any way to put together some kind of small benefit? I am directing this request to people in particular who have participated in such events...I am more than happy to donate my time and organizational expertise. Perhaps we could set up a charity dinner or an art auction or a show or something? I'm not Jerry Lewis but this is SERIOUS.
For most of us, this is the first time in our lifetime we've seen a large American city brought down; not since Anchorage in 1964 or San Francisco in 1906. While many cities have gone through such a rebirth, including New York in 1864, Chicago and Paris in 1871, and most cities in Europe and Japan after 1945, New Orleans has entered a new era and we must do everything we can to ease this incredibly destructive time for them. Here are questions you can ask yourselves: If an artist, can you donate artwork? Musicians, how about playing? Do you know a restaurant or other space that might be willing to close up for a night? Perhaps you work for or know of an organization that will match certain kinds of donations...wrack your brain! I am willing to work on this! We could and should do more that just sign checks, we should show the people of New Orleans that they are not forgotten...because they certainly feel that they are now. Remember, wherever you are...YOU are next! No place is safe.
Please send me suggestions or ideas. If you live outside of LA, think about having your own party...even a Halloween party where you charge a donation at the door will help! If you are out of the country, your help is also appreciated!
If you would like to give money on-line anyway, beware that you don't become a victim of "phishing":
Here is a reliable and comprehensive list of charities in Louisiana:
I've enclosed one photograph...you've probably seen enough, but this expanse of water flooding into the city of New Orleans is terrible in every way. The house I stayed in during my 2000 visit to the city is just off the canal to the left side of this photo...obviously destroyed. The account of that trip, if you're feeling nostalgic about somebody else's memories, is free for the taking at:
Your help is appreciated. Help! Help! Okay, I'll lay off. OK! OK!
01 September 2005
Greetings, many friends,