New Orleans

Violent Virgin Islands

January 11, 2016

Worn by cold weather and eternal gray days I leave Des Moines and move to the Virgin Islands where a friend from college tells me the weather’s always great except for high humidity and occasional hurricanes. I don’t worry much about climate. I just do what locals do. I like the Virgin Islands but better…

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In a House as Hurricane Katrina Blew

October 12, 2005

Louise loved the beaches and historic mansions, and nearby rivers and bayous, and living just down the road from her daughter and son-in-law.  The slower Southern pace also soothed her, and after a few months in Gulfport, Mississippi she’d resolved to stay forever.  Why would she leave?  Local veterans said no reason to.  Sure, in…

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Hurricane Katrina Pushes Woman East then West

September 27, 2005

At age nine Linda began babysitting and cleaning homes, quit high school at sixteen, had her first child two years later, married a man who bombarded himself with drugs, divorced him, and began moving the other way.  For eight years she managed residential properties of a private investor, and eventually lived in one of his…

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New Orleans Cries for New Priorities

September 6, 2005

As thousands of human and animal corpses decompose in waters contaminated with the detritus of a recently great city now synonymous with devastation, there is – as in every catastrophe – an implicit and utterly overwhelming demand to learn something, to avoid or at least diminish the horror of a similar experience.  So what are…

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