28. August 2005 · Comments Off on In the Eye of the Storm · Categories: Domestic, General

Canal Street Postcard, 1920ies

I have a old Kinney shoebox full of antique postcards: this is one of about fifteen of various places in New Orleans— Jackson Square, the FrenchMarket, the Cabildo, the St. Louis Cemetary— all the touristy places. There is no date on most of them, but the mix of automobiles and horse-drawn carts and trams have a look of the 1920ies. Most of the rest of the postcards in the box are about the same vintage, most of them never used, and bought by the hasty handful to amuse a little invalid boy by his parents on their travels around the world. (Nice and Cap Jean Ferrat, castles of Britian, monuments in Japan and Paris, Italy and the Pacific Northwest— glamorous relics of the days of liesurely travel on luxuriously appointed ocean liners.) The little invalid boy was the youngest son of the family Grandpa Jim worked for, as the estate gardener. He died in his teens, and many decades later the estate was sold off, all the furniture and valuables removed. There were a lot of odds and ends stored up in one of the garages, and Grandpa Jim was allowed one day to bring us— Mom, JP and I— to look it over and see if there was anything we would like. I don’t know what JP took away, if anything, but Mom liked a cast-iron garden chair covered with three decades of paint (and regretted not taking the love seat that matched it, but was terribly heavy) and I was enchanted by the wealth of postcards. They have been in my posession ever since. Since I took them away from the deserted estate, I have been to some of the places pictured.
But New Orleans is not one of them, and I rather regret that I didn’t take the one chance I did have to see it, when I was TDY to Gulfport, Mississippi a decade or so ago. Unless we are terribly, terribly lucky, New Orleans will not look much like my postcards for a long, long time.

(Cpl. Blondie’s boyfriend left from New Orleans about mid-morning. His family planned to leave from Metairie last night, but put off leaving until this morning. The roads going out to the west were impossibly jammed, so they are all heading for Atlanta. Blondie can reach the BF on his cellphone, but he can’t make outgoing calls. He was out of the city on back roads by midday. She’s keeping in touch with him, as much as she can.
Nearly a year ago, I wrote about another gulf city, and another hurricane here.)

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