M., Chalmette, Retired
live in New Orleans for a lot of years
66 years. I come from a family of 18 kids. Im
72 years old. I worked all my life, never went
to school, but I survived. I got married in 1950
and I had eight kids. Married to my wife for 50
years until I lost her. Her name was Irma. When
I lost her, I lost the world.
sent all my kids to school cause I knew
what it was. You need education to survive this
world. I picked up garbage when I was 10 years
old, in the French Quarters. I worked with my
daddy. We worked the mule teams together. After
we finished the route, I used to go out and pick
up papers, old junk, to help support my family.
You have a whole life when you come from a hard
family. If people think this is bad, they should
see 1932. That was the Depression. People jumping
out of windows cause they lost their money. My
daddy always reminded me of what a dollar meant.
When I got a little older I was in charge of cleanup
crew in the French Quarter. We seen good days,
we seen bad days. I was retired on Social Security
before I got here.
seen what I wanted to.
went through five hurricanes. I went through two
3s and two 4s.
This was the worst. I went through Betsey, Camille,
Hugo, Ivan, and Katrina was the worst. I wouldnt
want to see anybody in the future years live through
this. Theres only so much you can see. I
survived this here one cause I had two friends
who owned a bar, Hankss Place in Chalmette.
I took my grandbaby with Downs Syndrome, Matthews.
I raised him since he was one year. I took him
and we stayed at Hanks Place all during
the hurricane till the water started rising. Then
we went to my friends trailer in Chalmette
and it was dry. It was amazing. We all said that.
stayed there till they ran us out, the sheriff.
We had to get out of Louisiana altogether. We
got picked up on the highway by a big truck. They
took us to a bus and the bus took us to the airport,
and they flew us here. My little grandson took
it all the way. Im proud of him. Every day
he learns a little something. Hes Downs
Syndrome. But I teach him a little something every
day. So he knows what he can do in case I die.
Hell be prepared. Ill tell you whatfor
a man who never went to school I did pretty well
in my lifetime.
plan was to stay here in Austin, but I didnt
get treated too good. So now Im gonna go
to California. God takes things one day at a time.
I can say better than a lotta people, I lived.
easy part for me now is just waiting and dying,