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 a shortcut to avoid heavily traveled US 165 and US 171… they decided to turn …

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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 Rita “The forgotten storm.” You’ll have a hard time convincing any of us in Southwestern …

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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 had had such a positive experience with them. In fact as they left the day …

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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 counterclockwise wind that begins the process of becoming a continent-shattering storm such as Katrina begins …

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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 Katrina, there have been great needs in our state. In a disaster we really find …

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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 communication is lost and people are displaced, the rumor mill shifts gears. Speculations become “truths” …

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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. Be Heroic.     The Ninth Ward     Long before it became the poster …

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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 me, I can hear the bass on the loud stereo speakers. I can’t tell what …

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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 was a Texas Rat Snake, or as we call it, a Chicken Snake. The Chicken …

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tRIBAL CODE 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 serves as the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is the area where the Taliban …

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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 on the fourth anniversary of 9/11. The television news balanced a full day of the …

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Mabel’s Sweet Song

Mabel’s Song   But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25   Anyone can sing when things are bright and the sun is shining brightly and our circumstances are easy. But our song…and heart…become tested when trials come. It’s crunch time. Or it can become crunch …

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Whistling Past the Graveyard

A note from Curt We continue with stories from ten years ago, as chronicled in our book,  Hearts across the Water. Yesterday’s post,  Grandma Rodrigue, touched many of you, including me. If you missed it, click here. Today’s post is humorous. It’s a true story of what happens when cultures collide. I’d appreciate any of my Smyrna friends sending a …

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Grandma Rodrique and the Storm

A Word from Curt We’re moving through stories in Hearts across the Water.  Ten years ago I wrote this book about three live-changing disasters:  the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I’d forgotten about the chapter entitled,  “Grandma Rodrique.” I was moved as I read it again after a decade down the road. I’m reminded of the writer’s …

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