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Hearts across the Water

The Tree is Still Standing

The Miller Oak     The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.   The morning after Rita passed through I couldn’t wait to get out and survey the damage. As I’d driven around our community ...

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Two Dog Stories

Sugar and Ivory It’s odd but I will always think of two dogs when I think of the long night that Hurricane Rita struck Dry Creek Camp. We had 350 people on our grounds. They had been moved and bedded down in our most solid ...

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Bill Lindsey’s Hammer

Bill Lindsey’s Hammer It is just before bedtime on the night before Hurricane Rita slams into Southwest Louisiana. A crowd of fifty anxious faces stares into mine as they await words of wisdom from the camp director. The faces are each so different and individual. ...

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Leaving Louisiana

Headlights in the Dark   We’d never seen anything like it. As far as I could see, looking south on Louisiana Hwy 113, the main (and only) thoroughfare through Dry Creek, there were headlights. On Thursday the exodus had begun and it seemed everyone knew ...

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Rita: The Forgotten Storm

A word from Curt It’s less than ten days until the official tenth anniversary on Hurricane Rita. We move today from stories about Katrina to her bad twin sister, Rita. Rita: “The Forgotten Storm”     Saturday, September 24, 2005   They are calling Hurricane ...

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Ivan’s Return

Ivan’s Return     Due to the fact that Dry Creek Camp had become a shelter for folks from the New Orleans area during Ivan in September 2004, our staff knew any future evacuation of the City would mean even more people coming, since we ...

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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect     It’s only a theory and most serious students of science discount it. But if someone can give a better explanation of how a hurricane begins, I’d like to hear it. The theory called The Butterfly Effect states that the first ...

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Freedom to Speak

The Wall is Down I’m not a fan of the ACLU. However they have the same freedom of speech I do. In this story I want to use my cherished freedom of speech to say a few things and ask a question or two. Since ...

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The Rumor Mill

The Rumor Mill   If there is one thing that Sisters Katrina and Rita have taught us it is this: Don’t believe everything you hear, unless you know firsthand it is true. The rumor mill is always churning. When you have a disaster and normal ...

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The Ninth Ward

A word from Curt We’re posting chapters from Hearts across the Water, our 2005 book about the heroes of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and the Asian Tsunami. Thanks to all of you who’ve commented on these stories. Today’s hero is my friend Jack Hunter. Enjoy. Celebrate. ...

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Get ‘er Done

  “Git ‘er Done!”     I’m driving along in the camp truck near Oakdale on Hwy 10. A black GMC truck comes quickly up behind me. On the top of the front windshield is painted, “Git ‘er Done!” As the truck quickly speeds around ...

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A Long Snakeskin

A Long Snakeskin     My nephew found it near the barn at my father-in-law’s home. It was by far the longest intact snakeskin I’ve ever seen. We measured it at six-and-one-half feet long. There was no doubt with its length and thinness that it ...

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A Good Word called Hospitality

A Tribal Code of Hospitality     … So he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29   I’ve never been to Afghanistan and probably never will go. It is a long and dangerous way from America. Especially hostile is the mountainous area that ...

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That’s My Flag

Long May it Wave   Sunday, September 11, 2005   In my mind I will always remember it as the enduring symbol of the United States—an American flag in a faraway place where you never expected to see one. I thought about that flag today ...

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