Sep 2, 2005

Via Jordan's Equanimity, from the Poet Laurate of Louisiana:

To Whom It May Concern:

Those of us who did leave the City before the hurricane are scattered and waiting to return to begin again. Reports of looting, shooting and fires are distressing; but we hold on to faith that order will be quickly restored. What is most important is that those housed at the LA. Superdome not be forced to remain in what is clearly an untenable situation. Medical attention and supplies, food, clothing and transportation out of the City must be provided them. Repairs of levees and pumps must begin now.

Many Americans know New Orleans primarily as a tourist destination, a playground of tourists and wealthy businessmen. The fact is that this is one of the greatest cities this country has known. It is unique in the history of the nation and through such industries as oil & gas, shipping and transportation and the growth and spread of jazz and the music culture that has grown out of it, has provided the backbone for much of what the rest of the world knows and thinks of as "American." Years ago we were dubbed "the City that Care Forgot," " Big Easy," "Silver City" not only because we knew how to enjoy life, because we were and are an open-handed and open-hearted people. New Orleanians the world over intend nothing less than the salvation of our City. Report that.

I, my Mother and my companion left New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, traveled through Mississippi and Arkansas, and landed eventually in Shreveport, LA. at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel. My brother remained in the City and still has land-line telephone service and water. Presently, I am able to make but not receive calls on my cell phone. We are safe and anxious to return to our City.

New Orleanians are a people of unimaginable strength and resilience and New Orleans will be rebuilt as a great city. I am returning to begin again as soon as possible. Report that. Tell that to the world again and again.

Brenda Marie Osbey

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