While walking down the street taking photos for the post below a car pulled up and 2 middle aged women asked what I was doing. They seemed curious rather than agitated that I was a gawker. I told them I write for an online website and we’ve been trying to raise awareness of what’s happening down here all the past year. They corrected me ….”What isn’t happening.” As they asked what is the site and can they go read it they each reached into their purses and pulled out paper and pens to write down First-Draft.com. They asked more about me and then Kathy, the driver, said her mother, Ardelle had lived just down the street. I never noticed Ardellle’s home when I was on this street 6 months ago because there had been a yellow house right in the middle of the street. (see video below) Ardelle’s house, made invisible to me then by the yellow middle of the road house, was a block from the 17th Street Canal levee break.
Kathy evacuated Ardelle to her home in Hammond, LA before the storm and federal flood. Ardelle, age 80, still lives with Kathy in Hammond and she won’t be coming back home to New Orleans. It’s just too hard at her age. Fortunately they took Ardelle’s car along when they evacuated and so now she can still get around on her own. That’s at least something.
This was Ardelle’s front door….
Kathy said it’s ok to go look inside. There’s only the metal protection door now….
Ardelle’s home has been gutted though Kathy has no idea who did it. Go ahead and look on in. It may not be here much longer….
Kathy has Ardelle’s home on the Army Corps of Engineers demolition list but there’s no telling when Ardelle’s home will be brought down. They just don’t know. Kathy said after it is gone they will sit on the property and wait for the right price but she added sharply that, “We won’t sell it to the City.”
Kathy and her friend shake their heads as they look around them saying “You come here a year later and nothing has changed.” They say they just have been forgotten.
I wish I could have met Ardelle. I wish we all could. We’ve been in her home and don’t even know her. Don’t forget Ardelle and be sure to show your manners and say thank you for letting us see what was once hers…her home. You can leave that in the comments for Kathy and Ardelle because I have a hunch they’ll be by the First Draft home.