Wednesday, August 29, 2007

GMA - Katrina revisited


ABC's Good Morning America sent Robin Roberts down South to broadcast live, from the Gulf Coast, this morning. I captured the show and edited out the non-Mississippi parts. This will mark my first attempt to mess with captured video. I had to muscle my way through a couple of programs before I could get it close-to-right. I'm not super impressed with the final product, but I am proud of my efforts. If nothing else, it was a learning experience.

Two notes about the show. Robin initially broadcasts from Trinity Episcopal Church, in Pass Christian, Mississippi. I was married in that church. It was beautiful. I also held my High School Graduation Ceremony at that church. It, however, was unremarkable. Shortly after the storm, Cindy inched her way to the site, to see what was left. There wasn't much. Only the frame of the building and a few chandeliers survived. The rest was gone. Outside of it, only a large brass bell remained on the grounds. Nothing else was salvageable. Seeing the remains again touched both of us in uncomfortable places. Rekindling feelings we had thought we were past. Like suddenly realizing it is the anniversary of a dead family member.

Also, early into the first episode, Robin flies over the border of Long Beach and you can see my brother-in-law's subdivision. It's the graveyard of streets with bare foundations in all but a handful of places. A fairly new neighborhood, mercilessly wiped from the face of the earth. It's still unrecognizable as you drive past. And sun-bleached "For Sale" signs occupy almost every lot.

Otherwise, I think the rest speaks for itself. We're still rebuilding. It will be years before we're able to say, "We're done." But we'll get there. One day.

video

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Downtime

Stanley's death hurt. I've never had a friend die. And now, he is gone.

He is gone.

That's Stanley, now. Gone.

I was starting to get my head around it, when MacArthur Wright died. A friend and coworker from Tunica, MS. On Saturday, August 4th, after celebrating my son's eighth birthday, I got a call informing me that Mac had died of a heart attack earlier that evening. I'd had lunch with him two weeks earlier. Met his wife, and his youngest son. And while doing some yard work with a friend, his heart stopped pumping.

That's Mac, now. Gone, too.

And in his wake, I had to spend a couple of weeks in Tunica. Picking up the pieces of his puzzles. Everyone on eggshells. Everyone slow and quiet. I had to check his voice mails. I had to check his emails. And sometimes I'd have to call people to give them the news.

It all burned me. A dull ache behind my eyes. No energy. Too much sleep.

So, I took some downtime.

I miss you, Stanley. I miss you, Mac. But, I'm gonna get on with living.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

RIP - MacArthur Wright

Liam's birthday, he turned eight.

MacArthur Wright's last day on the earth. He was helping a friend spread some fresh mulch across the yard, when said he had to sit down for a while. His friend walked around the corner. Mac told him, "Don't get too hot!"

When his friend came back, Mac wasn't there. His friend went around the corner of the house, and found Mac on the ground, clutching his chest. Mac kept asking, "Why isn't it working?" But his pace maker never went off.

His friend called 911, and called Mac's wife. She and her youngest son were only a couple of blocks away from him. They made it in time to speak with him for a few minutes.

The medics showed up. They put him in the ambulance. But that was it. They called the coroner and he pronounced right there, in the vehicle.

So now my son's birthday is forever entwined with the death of a friend and coworker of mine.

Rest in peace, Mac.