On the sidelines

Like many Americans, I’m feeling helpless about the situation in New Orleans and the rest of the hurricane-affected Gulf Coast area. Instead of echoing those sentiments I’m going to tell a personal story.

Mark Waller is a friend of mine. We both attended the University of Missouri. Like me, he graduated in 1996 with a degree of Journalism. I didn’t stick journalism but Mark did. He started in Little Rock and eventually moved to the Times-Picayune, where he’s worked for six years. He met his wife there. She’s a photographer at the paper.

Mark was with the paper as it scrambled to cover the disaster for a city that no longer had time for such frivolities as a daily newspaper. The paper finally reorganized in Baton Rouge. Mark and his wife had to go to his mother’s house in Springfield Missouri because they have a dog and no one to take care of it.

His story underscores the importance of New Orleans to the country. He broke down when explaining to me that New Orleans is an important part of the soul of the country. It’s a culturally unique city. There is no replacing it. I have no doubt that people will work hard to restore the city. It will be tough to convince people to stick around for such a long-term project.

Mark, along with his wife Jen, is returning to the belly of the beast. They’re heading back to Baton Rouge this weekend. I was able to contact my aunt and uncle, who live there, to get them a place to stay while they re-join the displaced newspaper staff. Baton Rouge has about twice its usual population, so housing is scarce at best. Fortunately my aunt and uncle were like me and wanted to help, and I was able to help facilitate that. It felt good to help out a friend in need, although it didn’t feel like I did much.

One Response to On the sidelines

  1. Anonymous September 2, 2005 at 2:56 pm #

    For non-proliferation’s sake, Sun asks OSI to retire older open source license
    There’s a bit of news on the the open source license non-proliferation front. Proliferation of incompatible open source licenses has balkanized the open source software community to a point that code isn’t …
    Hey I was just blogg surfing and I found you. Great blogg, keep it up. If you are interested in legitimate business go visit, it is the best stuff I have seen on the net

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes