Several years ago I went to New Orleans just before Mardi Gras. Remembering that Mardi Gras is coming up again (Fat Tuesday is February 28th this year), I wondered how well New Orleans was going to rise to the occasion. There’s plenty of brave talk about the show going on, and Lord knows they need the tourist dollars, but honestly, six months after being nearly washed away, how big a show can they put on right now?
I went to MardiGras.com, and to look around there, you’d never know that anything bad happened since last year. But if you look closely, there is a Mardi Gras blog that captures the good and bad news. Various parades have been cancelled due to funding and insurance problems, and lots of corporate money didn’t come through. But the party is on, and no mistake.
From the Mardi Gras blog, I jumped over to the NOLA.com main page and found a Voices of Katrina section. This site asks readers to send in their stories, and it’s pretty riveting stuff. Here’s one I recommend:
The long road out of Mordor.
We saw police cars at the top of the entrance to the bridge. We saw guys in camoflauge holding shotguns. OH MY GOD – PROTECTION!!! I was smiling – we would get help up there. A young guy in camo pants and light colored shirt pointed his gun at us and yelled for us to get off the bridge. It was then that I realized these guys may be worse than the looters. Kevin yelled at him that the bridge is the only way out of the city that wasn’t underwater. He chambered a round and fired over our heads. I felt like the world would never be the same for me. It all came crashing down right then.
I wish them a happy Mardi Gras, wherever they are.