“He particularly loved the tale of the prodigal son.”

I’m not a religious person but if I were I would readthis terribly sad story of the life and passing ofAlvin Thomas and think God has now welcomed his prodigal son home and weeps, not for him, but for us, who fail in the caring for our own…

Then, on March 14, Alvin changed clothes for the first time in
months, a hopeful sign, said Pete Nunnally, a diocese employee who
befriended Thomas. That day, Thomas helped the crew of volunteers shore
up the house. As they left, one of the volunteers promised she would
return with a can opener.

Sometime that night, despite warnings scrawled on the door and
walls, death stopped on France Street for the Thomas family’s
first-born son. He left behind a small gray radio, airing a passionate
sermon to a small pile of clothes, some unopened canned goods and a
tattered mattress.

Read it all


3 thoughts on ““He particularly loved the tale of the prodigal son.”

  1. Thanks for posting this here, Scout. I read it yesterday evening on nola.com. I was just so saddened by this story…all he wanted to do was get back home. And the shelter person in what was it, North Carolina, didn’t know what would happen to him but sent him anyway…that struck me. Our social care system is so underfunded, understaffed, and unable to contact one another to confirm he would be seen to upon arrival. That two and a half YEARS after ‘the thing’ – people are still without a home, without utilities, without HELP. And the ‘help’ that is out there is achieved w/much added stress, hurdles and ballyhoo – it takes a costly toll on fully functional citizens. Those less capable of getting help just breaks my heart all the more. 32 months have passed and homes are still rotting away, or being demolished by a crappy system of notification of intent… Residents sent so far away and not of their choosing…?!?! That are unable to get back home to check on things…?!?!? That cannot get back to fight for their homes/land…!??!
    I thought this was America, the “Land of Opportunity” home of “The American Dream”?!?! Oh, that’s right. The “American Dream” died when the Supremes anointed G.W.Bush as president.
    The populace’s dreams of owning a home, getting services their taxes paid to provide, having a career, pursuing happiness were given a seat…but not at the table.
    The citizens of this once great country were put on a chair alright – but standing up in it.
    Then their hands were tied behind their back.
    Then the hood was put on.
    Then the noose put around their neck.
    Then the chair kicked out from under them.
    Our country has been summarily murdered.
    It’s time to come back and haunt this administration out the door.
    As New Orleans goes, so goes the country. I want my country back. I want my dreams back. I want my freedoms back. I want my New Orleans back.
    Even without the travesty that was and sadly still is and still will be the ‘war’ in Iraq – for this to have happened to an American City and that it got essentially swept under the collective MSM’s carpet and we get tedious catchphrases of “Katrina overload” and “Katrina fatigue” as if shame on us for still wondering just why in the FUCK that NOTHING substantial has happened in the roughly 640 days since this happened?!?! Where is the compassion for one’s fellow Americans???? Oh, that’s right – in this day and age of gated communities to actually know your neighbors personally and not just by what they drive is so outre’! If the folks on the other side of your pricey condo’s wall don’t matter to you enough to even know their name and smile when you pass them in the corridor, why should some complete unknowns down in a riverfront city that had a life, had dreams, had homes matter? (heavens, they didn’t have cars!?!? they didn’t have a gated entry to keep out the riff raff? Horrors! Oh! Starbucks!)
    I am very sorry for ranting – it went a tad off-topic, but it IS relevant to the story. I cried when I read the article about Mr. Thomas. It was so unnecessary. It also CRIES out for proper healthcare for our country.
    I am just so heartsick, mind-boggled and physically repulsed by what this country has come to in 8 years. It may have been on this track somewhat prior, but there was a definite and accelerated downturn when G.W. Bush took ‘office’.
    God/Goddess/Godless bless America, help us restore her so that she can take care of her own and help the rest of the world, too.

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