For the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here’s a column item about its aftermath, written on Oct. 26, 2005, titled “Vieux Carré without noise an eerie place:”
“‘It’s the quiet that bothers me,’ she said.
“She had returned to her apartment on New Orleans’ Royal Street, above an antiques shop, to pack a few things needed at her temporary home in Pennsylvania.
“After a couple of sleepless nights, she realized what it was.
“No steady roar of French Quarter traffic; no horns; no squealing brakes.
“No Dixieland coming out of the Bourbon Street clubs around the corner.
“No wailing sax played by a lone musician leaning against a wall, his case open to receive donations.
“No tap dancing by kids with bottle caps on their shoes, seeking coins from tourists.
“No laughter from late-night merrymakers; no curses from a visitor who found his car towed; no shouts from cleaning crews rolling through the Quarter, no romantic songs sung by a tipsy lover to his one and only (at least for that night).
“‘I’ll be back,’ she told me as she loaded her truck, ‘when New Orleans is noisy again and I can sleep...’”
Janet Tillman says her son and his wife left New Orleans and stayed with her in Denham Springs after Hurricane Katrina, working with evacuees at the LSU Assembly Center during that time:
“Several years later they moved to New York City for grad school. Hurricane Sandy paid New York a visit in 2012. My son was teaching at the Beacon School, and his principal told him to go with the seniors to Long Island to ‘survey the needs of the people, help clean, disinfect, and compile a data base of this information for volunteers. You are the most qualified faculty member for this — you understand.’
“He accomplished great things that day. Right after the storm he called all his students and made sure they had housing, food, etc. People in New York learned that people do understand and want to help.
“By the way, he and his family are back in Old Metairie.”
Mike Gauthier, of Thibodaux, says the local Rotary Club has its “Club 85” members (“Rotary’s nice way of telling you that you are really getting old!”) present a monthly review of their careers to younger members:
Mike, looking for a name for this program, for a word in the dictionary defined as “Something that has survived, wholly or partially from the past and has historic interest.”
So the name of the series is “Rotary Relics: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About an Old Rotarian But Which You Will Be Forced to Learn.”
Special People Dept.
— Iris Young, former resident of Zachary and nurse at Lane Memorial Nursing Home, now living with her daughter in Delaware, celebrates her 97th birthday on Sunday, Aug. 30.
— Elmese Stevens, of Baker, celebrates birthday No. 94 on Saturday, Aug. 29.
— Joy LeBlanc Samson celebrates her 93rd birthday on Saturday, Aug. 29.
— Perlin Varenholt, of Metairie, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Sunday, Aug. 30.
— Mary J. Fish, former resident of San Diego, California, now living in Metairie, celebrates her 90th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 29.
— Jeannette Thimmesch, formerly of New Orleans, retired to her hometown of Woodville, Mississippi, celebrated her 90th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 27.
— On Sunday, Aug. 30, Dee and Rosie Hernandez, of Brusly, celebrate their 68th anniversary.
— Frank and Terry Janca, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 62nd anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 29.
— Earl and Joanne Daigle LeBlanc, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 57th anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 30.
— On Friday, Aug. 28, Leslie and Brenda Felder, of Denham Springs, celebrate 56 years of marriage.
One final armadillo story, from Eric Meyers, of Baton Rouge:
“Several years back I won a bow hunting trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
“There were several guys there from New York. After each hunt, we would get together and talk about the deer we had seen. One of the New York guys said, ‘You guys are not going to believe what I shot! I thought we had big rats in New York, but you guys have them armor plated! I am going to bring it back and have it stuffed.’
“I fell off the chair!”
“My devious grandson Sean is very into electronic devices, like most 5th graders,” says Ernie Gremillion.
“He recently related the story to me about his dad’s cell phone. Apparently it has real cool games on it that he can’t access anywhere else — but it is password protected with his dad’s fingerprint.
“He caught his dad asleep with his cell phone on his lap and gently swiped his dad’s finger over the phone, getting the access he was looking for. He later replaced the phone on his dad’s lap, who never knew Sean surreptitiously hacked him.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.