Katrina in E-Minor

My cousin Jim Walker is a trucker. He made a delivery to New Orleans just before Katrina hit. Due to trucking regulations, if you drive for _______ hours, you have to rest for _______ hours. (Don’t know the numbers…hence the blanks.) So, when he got to New Orleans, he had to check into a hotel and rest for a while. The hotel told him that they had a lot of truckers there, and they were keeping an eye on the storm. If it got bad, they were going to call everyone and wake them up to get them out. Jimmy went to sleep and woke up a long while later. He went downstiars and asked what was going on…the person behind the desk went a little pale, and with wide-eyes said, “You were supposed to be out of here HOURS ago!” Katrina had arrived.

There were no trucks left, save for one broken one, and no one would come down to get him or fix the truck. Jimmy called home and told them what was going on. There was no chance of his family arriving to get him home, so he was going to have to ride out the storm. His wife (Donna) told him to get as much food, water, and ice out of the vending machines as he could. He tells her he loves her, just incase he doesn’t make it home, hangs up the phone, and starts to walk to the vending machines…then the lights went out. He now had no food…no ice…nothing, just a bathtub he could put water into.

For about three days, he lived on water that was basically poisoned, breathed in poisoned air, and was listening to the sounds of people in other rooms screaming, crying, and dying. When the water level rose, he went up to a higher floor. The whole time, he was horribly sick from all of the crap in the air and water–and he stayed sick for a while thereafter. Sooner or later, things cleared up a little, and a repairman arrived to try to fix the one remaining broken truck. No success. Jimmy caught a ride with him to Baton Rouge, then hitch-hiked home (which is near the Jonesburo, Arkansas area). When you ask him about it now, he just says, “No one was sending help.”

Wrote a song about it last night.

I really hope Hilary runs in ’08.

Current listening:

  • “Decoration Day” and “The Dirty South” by the Drive By Truckers
  • “Octavarium” by Dream Theater
  • That’s a weird combination, isn’t it?

Still reading “How to be Good” by Hornby. So far, it’s excellent. Hornby has a way of writing characters that I don’t like, but in such a way that I sympathize with them. He’s truly mastered his art. If nothing else, it’s just nice to read about people who’re more screwed up than I am now and again. 🙂

See you around.