Donald Haughton isn’t afraid of a hard day’s work.
“Somebody’s got to do it,” he said.
White paint spits off his brush as he quickly runs it over the old, weathered white wash that continues to bind with the wood surface.
Usually working on home improvement projects, he’s been working for the past two years doing odd jobs on a farm.
Haughton has been mending, scraping and painting the fence on the west side of the property for a week. And he hasn’t been entirely alone working under the strong summer sun. “Sometimes the cows come up to the fence,” he said. “They’re gentle creatures, I never worry.”
The Paris of the Americas, America’s International City, The Gateway to the Americas, The City that Care Forgot, The Crescent City and The Big Easy are all nicknames for New Orleans.
Some of us have family or friends in this city full of history and culture. Many of us have visited the historical area on vacation to experience the colorful sights.
But after this week’s tragic visit from hurricane Katrina, the deep-rooted enchanting sounds of jazz and blues won’t be heard on Decatur or Bourbon streets in the French Quarter for some time.
The exotic smells of Cajun, Creole and Caribbean foods won’t be filling the streets.
Poor boy sandwiches won’t be made with fried oysters.
Tourists won’t be wondering the streets with a drink in hand and a bag of trinkets.
Locals, like this man pictured above, won’t be dressed in costume to panhandle money.
Instead, this romantic city and the surrounding metropolitan area now lie under the flood waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico.
But this city and its famous French Quarter are no strangers to strife. Inhabitants have resurrected their city after fires and have adjusted to different rulers throughout its existence. The hurricane is only another hardship to overcome.
After the healing of losing loved ones, the reconstruction of roads and rebuilding of homes, New Orleans will bounce back with its original character of blending the old with the new.
The American flag blows gently in the late summer nighttime breeze while I was visiting a friend’s home and saw this while walking up to his door.
Going to the park. Autumn. The water. Running. Taking a nap on the couch with all the windows open on a breezy day. Frank Sinatra. Driving down the interstate at dusk. Dusk. The idea of a meal I’ll never create. The idea of a place that doesn’t exist. Creating a place that doesn’t exist yet. Sleeping naked. Foggy days. Small towns on the east coast. Taking a bath on a cool day with the windows open. Nice people. Sweaters. The smell of coffee on a cool morning. I just like cool weather. “Local Hero.” Boats. Good Italian food in small Italian restaurants.
Midnight stroll downtown. Seeing reflections of the past and future. Stop to talk to the latest homeless guy (maybe woman) and toss a dollar or two. Rusty fall afternoon, backpack full of the store’s cheapest beer, hitting the frisbee golf course. Marigolds in bloom, trees putting on the fight to keep awake, or to sleep. Summer’s giving up the fight. Indigo Girls signing about the human experience, playing from their souls. Window down, burning leaves, and no care in the world. The light falling on my lovers cheek, exposing imperfections and character. Spending all day in bed. Conversation of the heart. Lying on the hood of my car watching meteor showers, misquotes nipping at my skin. The love of life. Hits me so hard.