The Adrastos Wayback Machine

The Chris Rose profile has come under a lot of fire since it was posted and I agree with much of the criticism. He’s mighty blase about not delivering on any of his Kickstarter promises. He raised $57K and people are vexed with him to say the least.

The best thing that’s come out of the epic La Vie En Chris Rose discussion is that it inspired me to get my original blog off the hard drive and back online. The Rose article was just the first of a wave of 10 year Katrina/Federal Flood remembrances and I want my deceased blog-city joint to be part of the discussion.

It’s a slow, arduous process to import the blog to Blogspot. Yeah, I’m being cheap, it’s going to be an archive, my top blogging priority remains First Draft. So, I don’t want to pay for it since it’s going to be a record and not an active site. I now understand why it’s been such an ordeal for Athenae and Mr. A to move First Draft from Typepad to WordPress. The interweb can be a cruel mistress.

The first 3 graphs have been a roundabout way to say that I’m starting a new feature here. As you all know, I love new features like a Bavarian loves beer or a Texan loves bullshit. I’ll be posting some vintage Adrastos; most of it dealing with what happened in New Orleans in the first three or four years after the thing. Much more after the break.

A brief editorial note, most of the commas from the posts I’ve manually processed have gone missing. If anyone knows where they are, please let me know. I’m also planning to put the original posts in quotes and not edit them at all. The formatting is also a bit erratic but what can I say?

I started blogging in December of 2005. We’ll begin with an early post about some folks who helped a lot of people during the crisis.

Heroes Of The Storm Thu, 02 Mar 2006 06:00:00

I nearly forgot to mention something really great that happened during Carnival. Dr. A and I met for the first time 2 people who helped us (and many other people) while we were in exile. In the first 5 to 7 days post-K Dr. A and I were cut off from all news reports except for the shrill and hysterical take of the national press; everything Uptown was the Garden District to those fools. If knowledge was power we were completely powerless. And scared apprehensive frightened nervous jittery; you name it.

The internet was our salvation. A few days after the storm I began to track down friends and neighbors and tried to recreate my neighborhood email list so that we could exchange whatever information we could glean. I also started reading the bulletin boards at NOLA.com which is the Picayune’s web site. It was there that I had my virtual encounter with Erin McGlothiln who was posting as Daisy Cat. Erin’s brother Drew the taxi driver lives 6 blocks from me. He didn’t evacuate pre-K and stayed in town as long as he could post-K. Drew’s land line never stopped working and he kept in touch with his sister on the phone. And Erin posted what she heard from Drew online. It was via Erin’s reports that I first learned that the flood waters had ebbed at St. Charles Avenue and that there were no signs of looting in my neighborhood. I emailed Erin and asked her if Drew could check my house out on one of his walks. Thanks to Drew I learned that while the Moron’s tree *had* hit our house there seemed to be minimal damage to the house itself. We were able to take a deep breath and kind of relax knowing that our worst fears were not realized. And Dr. A and I were not the only people helped by Drew and Erin.

So last Saturday I finally met Drew and Erin and thanked them for their help. They both insisted that they hadn’t done that much and their modesty endeared them even more to me.  They were fear eradication specialists for many Uptown exiles when things were at their murkiest and we’ll never forget what they did. Thanks again y’all.

The second post was written in 2007 when it started to dawn on people what a long, hard slog it was going to be to recover from such a major catastrophe. It’s something in the nature of a pep talk and  some of it still applies in 2015.

MUDDLING THROUGH Mon, 02 Jul 2007 13:50:10

There’s a lot of angst in the NOLA blogosphere this summer. Progress in the city seems to have come to a standstill: the charges against Dinneral Shavers’ accused killer have been dropped and looming in the background is Hurricane season and whether or not the levees will hold. Things do indeed look grim but I remain more sanguine than most about the future of New Orleans. Am I crazy? Well I’ve stayed despite manifold misgivings so I’m at least semi-crazy. The reason I think we have a shot at being okay is that New Orleanians are experts at muddling through. We’ve done it repeatedly throughout our history.

 Before the Civil War,  New Orleans was one of the richest cities in the world. Of course antebellum NOLA’s prosperity was built on the rotten and sordid foundation of slavery. The city fell early in the Civil War slavery was abolished and many believed the city would die. It didn’t. We muddled through.
 
The 20th Century brought a series of  calamities: the flood of 1927; Hurricane Betsy; economic stagnation; middle class flight; crime corruption and crack. New Orleans has been declared dead many times. It’s hung in there. How? We muddled through. 
 
Most of our long term problems-crime incompetent leaders bad schools corruption to name but a few-have been with us forever. We’ve survived by learning how to muddle through. Surviving isn’t as uplifting as thriving but there are worse things than muddling through; like giving into despair. I always thought that the post-K  recovery would be a slow and painful process given the profound problems we had before the levees broke. New Orleans was a glorious mess pre-K and now it’s even messier. It’s going to take time patience and above all else the ability to muddle through. It’s one of the things we do best after all.

That’s it for this waltz down memory lane. I’ll let y’all know when the blog is online but I’ll post some pieces here from time-to-time as the countdown to the 10th Katrinaversary continues.