Thursday, September 01, 2005

Please Let's Help the Nice People of New Orleans

I’ve already told you about a guy I met in the French Quarter named Daniel. He shines shoes for a living. Most nights he makes the two mile walk from his home in the Ninth Ward to his spot on Decatur Street where he gives the most thorough (and expensive) shoe shine you’ve ever had. His shoe shines last at least 10 minutes. The whole time he talks about the value of proper shoe care. When he’s not talking about shining shoes he talks about his mother who he takes care of with his shoe shine money. Daniel is a good man who makes the most of what little he has. He told me that his mother is proud of him.

New Orleans is full of Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits. One night when I wanted some chickens, we went over to one of the Popeye’s stores on Esplanade in Metairie. There worked Patricia Robinson and another woman whose name I can’t remember. Never have you met anyone who enjoys her work more than Patricia Robinson. I live in a town where you can scarcely get a fast food worker to grunt at you. This Patricia Robinson treated us like she couldn’t wait until we came back for more chickens and biscuits or corns. Her staff was equally friendly. I’d eat a lot more Popeye’s if Patricia Robinson worked at the one in Garland.

The second to last time I went to New Orleans, we stayed at the Renaissance Pere Marquette hotel down by the French Quarter. One night I wanted some dessert, so I ordered it from room service. I think it was pie. The woman that brought my pie or whatever it was up to my room on the Dave Brubeck floor told me all about how proud she was of her daughter who had earlier that day been accepted to a very prestigious prep school in the area. The room service woman never graduated from high school and told me she was determined to see that her daughter gets the best education she could possibly get.

This has been about three of the people I remember from New Orleans. I don’t recall anyone who was unfriendly or threatening or cruel. For the life of me, I don’t get the mentality of the people creating havoc in that fine city’s most desperate time. Then again, I can’t remember the last time I was really hungry or desperate. Why should I understand why they do what they do? All I’m saying – to those of you who haven’t been there – is that the people of New Orleans are good people. I hope you’ll do whatever you can do to help.


Blogger Jenny said...

I need to clarify a comment I made earlier via email. I feel bad for thinking New Orleans is crummy, but I thought you told me it was dirty and full of sin?
Nevertheless, I do feel really sorry for the people of New Orleans. It's hard to believe that people are stranded, starving, and dying in our neighboring state. I wish I could do something to help them this minute instead of just writing a check! I almost started crying ealier as I was watching Dateline!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Jenny, I think it is the out-of-control tourists in the French Quarter that Larry was referring to, and not the people that actually live there.

Great blog Larry. I hope Dr. Shoeshine and the others are OK.

8:10 AM  
Blogger jenny said...

Thanks for the info on the French Qtr. I've never been there, but have always wanted to visit. Due to the history involved, I hope it will be perserved.

I have some "evacuees" staying at my neighbors house across the street. I'm not sure what the protocol is for something like this. I don't want to be nosey, but I'm almost thinking I should drop off a baked item?

Oh, I have a new BLOG! The address is:

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Be Your Own Boss said...

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5:24 PM  

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