Return to New Orleans-4

It was pouring down rain again this morning when I walked to the meeting. The wind wasn’t as high though—it didn’t turn my umbrella inside out. Today the meeting goes from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm. I have a break in the afternoon to re-charge my computer battery and visit the blue dog gallery down Royal Street, look for the 3 Dog Bakery and maybe walk to the French Market and Jackson Square. 13 hours is too long to sit and I want to see more of the city and distribute more of Kate’s book postcards in the French Market area.

I’ve been here since Tuesday and haven’t needed my sunglasses yet. It’s been either raining or hazy. Wednesday night they had severe storms and flooding in the Hammond area, north of Lake Pontchartrain. On the news, they showed a house that had been destroyed by winds and a fallen tree. There was standing water and they interviewed a Katrina survivor who was 9 months pregnant and very scared. Carolyn lives in Hammond now. I haven’t heard from her since she dropped me off on Tuesday evening. I hope she’s ok. Last night we had thunderstorms that got loud around 2:00-3:00 am. Sleep does not come easily here in NOLA. My mind is always running fast, and once I finally got to sleep last night, the storm woke me up. This severe weather has made me think twice about coming back for the Katrina memorial on August 29th. But I want to be here for the Humane-LA unveiling of the nation’s first memorial statue honoring the animals los t during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I would like to do a book signing there and donate part of the profits to Humane-LA.

Today at lunch I ran into a hotel worker who I had spoken with before. Her home and things had been ruined in Katrina. After she got her home fixed up, there was a fire and now she’s living with others while waiting for the insurance money to allow her to fix it up again. She came by at lunch and launched a conspiracy with me. She asked me to get her a raisin cookie from the food trays set out for the meeting participants. I “stole” one for her and wrapped it in a napkin. She came by and put it in her pocket and went around the corner to savor it where she wouldn’t get in trouble. She was like a kid in a candy store with that cookie. I was honored that she had given me the job of snatching it for her.

Toward the end of the lunch hour, I met Theryll. She’s attending the conference and lives in the Algiers neighborhood. She was making phone calls to get some work done on her house while I was checking my phone messages. She had the complication of working far from her home and not being available during the work week to get repairs done. She told me that she was in California as Katrina was approaching and flew back here to get her car and some things and get out of town. She had decided that she would leave town for Katrina if Jim Cantore (the Weather Channel storm tracker guy) came to town. When she saw that he was coming, she decided to split.

This afternoon, it was still raining, but not as hard. I walked down Royal Street to the Rodrigue Studio. There I got to see many different blue (and red) dog prints and paintings. I obtained info on the Rodrigue exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art and info on how to order a signed book online. The book includes all of the blue dog prints to-date. George’s son, who had called the BoW Wow Bingo on Wednesday evening, was there. I left some Kate Book postcards that they put out with their literature. Then I walked towards the French Market where I found a shop that sold ceramic tiles with different blue dog designs. I bought some blue dog tiles and a magnet. I gave a Kate Book postcard to the shop owner and asked her what shops in the area would be good places to sell Kate’s book. She mentioned a small dog shop up the street, in the area, but I couldn’t find it. She also recommended the huge Barnes and Noble store on Veteran’s Drive in Metairie. She used to work there after Katrina and said that they carry Katrina materials. She said it’s one of the largest B&N stores.

I need to get this book into the right hands to find the tipping point. I also often hope to find someone who can tell me where Kate came from, or who may still be looking for her. As I said, now that I’m back in the NOLA area, I’m wondering again about where she came from and how she ended up with me.

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