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H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

December 29, 2005

One Time, When I Was At Band Camp...

It’s Thursday, my first day back at work this week and already I’m sick of being here. Everyone (almost) is on holiday vacation and the place is pretty empty and quiet. I wish I were still in New Orleans with the rest of the family.

We arrived at our hotel at 8 PM last night, greeted by the sight of several buses in the parking lot. Another was in the back, and another arrived while we were unpacking our car. All were full of high school kids and chaperones, band geeks (self described by two young ladies riding up and down the elevators this morning) here for the Liberty Bowl. That ought to make the next couple of days pretty interesting. I guess we’ll be using the stairs a lot!

Although considerably cooler than in New Orleans, it wasn’t a chaps morning this morning. It was about 40 degrees, and actually pretty pleasant. There’s about a 15 degree difference between Memphis and New Orleans.

Thinking back on our recent visit, images of blue roofs and boarded up business establishments come to mind. It’s amazing how many businesses on the West Bank are still closed and may not reopen, although damage was, in many cases, negligible. Apparently many of the West Bank businesses’ employees lived in flood ravaged areas and are now living elsewhere, leaving the business community without a good personnel base. Driving down Manhattan Blvd was a strange mixture of new construction and closed businesses.

On our way out of the city we stopped at a MacDonald’s for lunch. While waiting in line for over 30 minutes, I observed that many of the people in line were Hispanic and apparently didn’t speak English. This should present an interesting cultural phenomenon. It appears that many migrant workers have come to Louisiana to capitalize on all the construction that is going on, and many of these workers are Hispanic who speak little or no English. The local restaurants that have bilingual employees are probably few and far between, creating a sticky cultural gap. Perhaps some of these fast food restaurants that are offering higher salaries and bonuses to get workers should target bilingual people as potential employees, and give bonuses to them for having additional qualifications. Just a thought.

I saw a bumper sticker this morning that said, of all things, “Hang up and drive!”. Now, why didn’t I think of that? I could’ve made a fortune manufacturing HUAD bumper stickers. Then I could have branched out into HUAD magnetic car ribbons, and then to HUAD rubber wrist bands! I was probably too busy talking on my cell phone to think of it. Oh, well. Another missed opportunity.

It seems that if I happen to be in New Orleans next Wednesday, January 4th, between 0730 and 1600 (that’s 7:30am and 4pm, or for all you ex-marines out there, the big hand is on… oh, never mind) I will be allowed back into our building to retrieve any personal items that may have been left behind before the storm. Gee, I wonder if anyone would mind if I took Tuesday off to drive back to NOLA, went to the work site to retrieve stuff on Wednesday, and then took Thursday off to drive back to Memphis. Sounds like a “ROAD TRIP!!!” to me.

I’m off to justify my existence to Uncle Sam. Take care and God bless. Happy New Year.

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