Interviewed by Marcela Contreras and Sari Albornoz
Austin Convention Center
September 14, 2005
Well, I grew up in New Orleans, I grew up in a
place called Plaquemines Parish, a little part
of the country. We considered it country at the
time. It's about thirty-two miles from the city
of New Orleans. Came up there in the '50s and
the '60s. I'm fifty-four years old and I've been
living in New Orleans all my life. What I do for
a living, I'm a carpenter. That's my trade. I've
had my ups and downs in life but I wound up being
a carpenter. I really enjoy doing it, and so that's
what I've been doing for the last maybe fifteen
or twenty years.
I got had a pretty big family. There's eight children
besides me in my family. I'm the ninth one. I'm
the second to the oldest and last year, Thanksgiving
Day, we were struck with a very sad thing, my
sister passed away on Thanksgiving Day. So that
put a black eye on Thanksgiving for awhile.
Before that my mother passed earlier, but my father
wound up dying after my mother. He died from Alzheimer's,
I guess, from the effects of my mother passing,
because they were together for like some years
and she died. They had lived together so long,
mentally I think what he wound up doing, he wouldn't
accept the fact that she was dead, so he used
a mental block to block the pain, but in the process
of blocking the pain, he blocked out a lot of
other things, like his mind. So he died with Alzheimer's.
He died with no legs and things, and it was a
very hurting thing to see somebody who you look
up on all your life just squinch down to thirty
inches long and not knowing anything. It was like
seeing a child because he had got to the point
he had no control over nothing in his body, so
that was pretty ugly for his children.
Then, we lived through that, then one day my sister
just died. The coldest thing I can remember about
that is me and my sister was real, real close,
and the night when they called, everybody went
to call and get in touch with this one and get
in touch with that one, and meet me by the hospital.
And all our lives we were like not only sisters
and brothers, we was friends. We had some personal
things that we knew about each other and we were
real, real close, because we come from a close-knit
family. My mother never had a lot of money, but
she had a lot of love. Spiritually, she was a
millionaire, you know. She was into that word
big time, so I think her prayers carried us a
lot through life.
And after her, I have a godmother. We call her
El-Mi. I can't call her El-Mi, I gotta call her
Nanna. Because if I do anything bad, she's gonna
maybe slap me in my mouth because that's the way
we come up.
But that's me, up until here. I don't have no
children. I'm married, but I never had any children,
never, never, never.
AIT: Tell us about when the storm started.
Sid: The storm started -- okay, the storm started
for me that Sunday morning because we was at the
house and my wife -- her name is Joyce -- she's a wonderful
person. She got a big, big heart. She was so concerned
about everybody that she's not thinking about
herself. There were situations there beyond our
control at the time, so we were really staying,
we were really stuck between a hard spot and a
rock, because it was like what do we do now? I
mean, the storm is supposed to come but we'd heard
about it in the meantime, but something in me
made me think that this storm was going to be
greater than the other one. So what I had to do
was I had to convince her to leave and I said
I wasn't going, so that it made it a little more
harder to leave because she didn't want to leave
me there. But at some point, I was able to talk
her into it, because she knew I'm a survivor,
I was able to make it.
So around twelve o'clock that Sunday, her and
some friends of hers left. I think they went to
Alabama, Montgomery. I thought well, okay, I'm
going to hang around the house and maybe go over
to another friend's house, and Monday or Tuesday,
after the storm had come, they're going to come
back. We're going to go back to everything. Well,
little did I know that something was about to
happen that I had never experienced and never
want to experience and never thought I could experience.
Me and my brother-in-law was together. We were
watching the storm standing on the porch, watching
the storm, over at my sister's house on O'Reilly.
We was actually watching the storm. We watched
the storm from beginning to end. My wife was in
Montgomery but she kept me on the phone off and
on all night because they were seeing the storm.
Our electricity was cut off, so they knew the
damage that the storm was doing. So we had me
and her become real paranoid on what was going
to happen because we didn't know it was going
to be this bad.
Okay, so we witnessed the storm as it was going
by. That was on a Monday. Monday it went through
the wind and the rain and all that. Monday evening
we had a little sip of water which was to be expected
because New Orleans is low, so when it rain hard
and all that distance, you know we was going to
have water. But little did I know into the night
the water went to get greater and greater and
greater. And by the next morning, the water was
very ugly, up until the porch. It was up until
the porch where we were and it was constantly
coming. It was coming to like maybe six inches
into the house that I was in.
So we spent an entire night in the house where
it just got mentally we just couldn't handle getting
out of the bed to maybe go to the bathroom or
moving in the house that night to see what happening
and walking in water in the dark. I mean you never
would, you would never know how this feels. I
saw this story where people had been out to sea
for so many days and they were rescued and it
just sounded like something that happened. But
now with just the smallest flood, I had water -- that
is a horrible thing to be caught in the water,
what's gonna happen, not knowing how much deeper
this thing's gonna go.
So by the time Tuesday came, it had got very,
very ugly and I was telling my brother, I said,
"Brother, we're going to have to raise up
out of here 'cause this thing is getting uglier
and uglier. Whew. So, we went to the Superdome.
Upon arriving to the Superdome, I don't know if
the atmosphere was sick like this before we got
there, but we instantly became prisoners. Prisoners. Because I went in the Superdome really
looking for some people, right? So when I got
in the Superdome, we was told that if you go in,
after we was in, once you pass this point, you
cannot come back out until we let you out. So
this is on Tuesday or Wednesday. So at this point,
we goes in, but I want to come out because I saw
things -- I mean, a lot of people would describe
this as the point that people were just being
destructive. I saw a bunch of people who was on
the edge, their nerves, have a nervous breakdown.
Because people with children crying, old ladies
there, and things just happening.
I mean you take an old person out of their house
and put them in this kind of atmosphere, with
teenagers reacting as teenagers, wow, wow, wow,
and scaring these people. They're dealing with
the storm, they lost everything they had, now
they're dealing with living. This what you might
call a bunch of pirates or whatever, just running
around destroying things because the things they
destroyed they were striking out, not for the
things that they needed, not for the things that
they wanted. They just was reacting to something.
You know, we all react to things in different
ways and I think that's really what it was. Their
behavior was only part of their personality. I
don't know how the parents had dealt with the
child, I don't know what point they was in. I
would say they was in their radical childhood,
striking back and not knowing what they're striking
So this made the Superdome a madhouse, not a place
of care, a madhouse. You've got to understand -- the
Superdome opened to save people's lives and to
some degree it did save a lot of people's lives.
But ugly as it was, it saved a lot of people's
lives. A lot of more people would have been saved -- no,
I'm not going to deal with the political aspects
at this point, because I think that's what the
world -- we always have a world and we've always
the political phases, people are going to be caught
in that. Most people gonna get caught in this,
poor people, mainly poor blacks and poor whites.
Because the people who could afford to leave town,
they're not going to be in the storm. Poverty
is the reason a lot of people didn't leave.
So now you're stuck there. So you're offered -- people
over there are saying oatmeal being offered -- you're
offered something that's not good but it's better
than what you had. And if they wouldn't have used
that shelter as refuge, a lot more people, thousands
of people would have died. Now, it was ugly, because
I think if we can send people all across the world
to fight wars and do all these other kind of things,
we can prepare for things like this. I mean there
was a thing right before that where I think the
United States sent some people over to Russia
or something to help to get a submarine from the
bottom of the sea. And they did it in such a short
period of time.
Now you're telling me the Corps of Engineers can't
figure out a way of fixing a hole in the levee?
Okay? But, you know, I think at some point the
Lower Ninth Ward and East, okay, are poor areas.
I think if they had any kind of way of redirecting
the water, that would be the portion that would
be redirected because it's the poorest part of
town. So you know if you've got to pay for properties,
it the best to pay for, but not taking into concern
the lives you're going to take, because everybody
didn't take heed to your warning to get out.
So many things happened. In the storm, I saw so
much happen to so many people, good people, you
know, whose lives will never be the same. It's
not nothing uncommon because it happens all over
the world that some kind of thing come in, and
you know, destroy everybody's life for awhile.
There are people who may think on a naïve
basis that it was an act of God because New Orleans
has got the crime, the drugs, and all that. But
I would say that's somebody who reading the Bible
but not understanding it. Because if they serve
the same God that I serve, they're not going to
serve a God that's going to punish people like
this. So if He's got the power that many powers,
He could use it in another kind of way.
There are going to be people think that, there
are going to be people think on a radical basis,
you know, that it happened because we're black.
But it was just something that nature caused and
we could not stop it. We was not prepared. But
not being prepared is one thing, because when
you're not prepared for something, it's because
you didn't think it was going to happen. But these
people told us stories about the storm before
it got here. Okay, now when the levee bust, I
think it was something they could have got on
right away, but with everybody running for cover,
there was nobody here to close the gaps. So some
horrible things happened.
Now we're into the point about walking through
the water like for three days, me and my brother-in-law,
we walked through the water.
We was able to escape the next morning. I say,
it's just what I say, escaped, because we were
told not to leave. So they told you that. We had
soldiers, National Guardmen. They might have not
wanted to be there, so at some point they executed
like that. I think it was very cowardly of them,
the way they handled it, very unprofessional the
way they handled it, and not caring the way they
handled it. But that's another thing, because
you know, my words can't tell you what the Army's
gonna do. And if people warn them, I'm quite sure
they didn't tell them that.
But after I escaped the Superdome the next day,
I said we ought to go back to the house. If I'm
going to die, let me die with dignity. At least
let me die trying to live. So we waded back through
the water again and in the process of wading back
to the water, it had got to the point where on
the way home, I saw about seven bodies, just floating.
Thank God, because I feel like this thing had
gotten to the point right now where it's over.
The worst thing we could get was water. But little
did I know there was something about the Seventeenth
Street Canal then. So we're talking about more
water, all right?
This thing was getting to be more dangerous. So
Thursday, Thursday night, right across the street
from where I was, which was very scary, right
across the street from where I was they had to
airlift an eighty-seven-year-old woman. The Red
Cross helicopter was setting over our house, about
ten or fifteen feet over the house. Now you've
got to imagine this. I want you to take your mind
just where I'm gonna take you. It's two o'clock
in the morning. There are no lights in the city.
There's water six inches in your house. With the
helicopter being and the blades turning, the six
inches is now ten, twelve, eight to twelve inches,
because it's coming in because the propellers
are pushing the water.
So I'm laying on the sofa, because I would never
get that far back in the house in case we had
to escape. There was a second floor house across
the street, I thought I might get out and swim
for that, if I had to get upstairs. We had made
it to the attic, but the thing I had created had
like floated away, because it was outside. The
ladder, this makeshift ladder, was a chair, a
stool, and all this we were going to use to get
in the attic. But it had floated away. But we
could never set it back up because the water couldn't
give us the leverage to do it.
So now we're looking at the front door, our only
means of escape. In the process of looking at
the helicopter that was airlifting the lady -- it's
two o'clock in the morning and deathly dark, and
all of a sudden you hear, brrrrr, the sound of
the helicopter blades overhead. Sounded like it
was in the house, really. So I looked out the
door and I see waves coming in. I said, okay,
now I got to the door, and waves are coming, and
the lights of the helicopter shining down. So
this is superceding the waves from eighteen inches
to thirty, because it looks like it coming much
more higher, which it is. And when I look outside,
I say oh, man. I hear somebody say, "Get
out of here because she's gonna fall in the water."
And I say oh, man, everything bad that could have
happened have happened. We about to die.
At that point, I only did one thing. It may sound
cowardly, because of the kind of person I am,
it may sound cowardly because a lot of guys would
say another thing, the macho thing, would be say,
"Well. I'll deal with it." At that point,
to the best of my ability, I started praying,
because I didn't know what was going to happen.
I went to asking God for another day of looking
at life. Another day of looking at daylight, one
more time. But then as that was going on, they
airlift out and when they airlift out, the water
kind of calmed. At that point, I knew it was time
for me to leave.
Not only that, I had kept -- about five days had
passed and I hadn't talked to my wife. She knew
I was here, stuck in the water, so she was like,
she's the kind of person that cares. I wasn't
able to talk to her. I had two things in mind,
surviving this water and talking to my wife again.
And with the help of God, both of those things
It's a short story, but it's a long story. Because
those hours were so long, you never would imagine
how this would be. I mean, I'm telling a story
and I'm feeling the effects of it, but like I
said earlier, this thing has done more damage
than property damage, you know, things of material.
It's done more damage to people. You got people
living in this place who never stood in a room
with this many people. Because me being black,
young, I've been incarcerated, okay. But thank
God I was able to come out of that so I could
live in this environment. Do you know there are
women and men that live that have never exposed
themselves, and I mean exposed myself -- not on a
nasty basis -- but I mean is never took a shower,
with other bunch of other people. There are women
that have been mentally raped because what happened
is, that they never thought they had to do this
So now they are caught in a position like a prisoner
or somebody being held hostage. But this is survival,
and I've got to say this place and these people
has been more than helpful. I've heard about the
Red Cross, and I thought Red Cross people would
come bring you coffee when you're hunkering down
in a storm or something, but these people are
volunteers. I watched these people walk the dorms,
I mean the rooms, at night, and I noticed how
they do it with great concern, knowing that they
have other things that they could be doing. They
could be home in their warm, dry beds, but they
chose to give up a part of life. I'm always going
to have a special place in my heart for these
I'm fifty-four years old, right, and I've always
had different things about black and about white,
but this made me look at people altogether different.
I mean Jews and me coming up in the '50s, went
all through life with a bitter taste in my mouth
for Caucasians, but I met some Caucasian people
here that really cared. So I, like many other
people, was misdirected by things that had happened
in my past to me. I guess I held other people
responsible for things other people did to me,
like they did to them. Like vice versa, Caucasian
man, well, he's just because of that. That's totally
wrong. I agree with that now because I met some
people that really care.
Without caring, you can't be here. You know, I'm
trying to kick the wool over you or anything,
but you all are reporters. You're doing this for
a living. I'm not going to say I don't know, I
won't say that you're doing this for a living,
but it's your job. But there are people in there
right now who's working their butts off, just
to see us smile. And know that they helped you
by some means.
Anything I can give to make people understand
that things happen and God will make it right,
I am willing to do it. So here I am.
One day a reader will see it and say, well, man
that must have been horrible. And actually with
the water, you don't see all the lives. Man, I
remember seeing a little girl laying in the water,
and the water -- she was a brown-skinned girl, so
the water have a tendency to turn you more paler.
And she was like pale. But the most horrible sight,
a child, I'm not going to say daughter because
I don't know whether it was boy or a girl, because
I didn't really stick around, it was just too
much of a mental explosion. That was my breaking
point. I said, this is where I get out of the
water, right here. If there is help and the next
day, some dude came in a boat and say, "You
all want to get out?" We tried to get a ride
to the bridge, to go talk to people. They said,
"No, we're not giving rides, we're bringing
people to the rescue points." You know what
I thought, I'm saying rescue point, rescue point,
I said to myself, why would I stay here? What
would I stay here for? My wife is in another place.
If I leave here, I could contact her. If I come
out of here, I could live normal, and I knew after
seeing all the animals and people in the water,
and seeing the manhole covers exploding, and seen
the water coming back through, I knew that by
the next day, but the time the sun started shining,
this water is going to be deadly poison. You know
what I mean, this water is not going to be a place
you want to be. The times I went out on the water,
I did things like take an alcohol bath when I
come back. But that couldn't last for long.
So I decided when the boat came back, I said,
"Hold 'em up. Give me a ride out." And
they brought us to the bridge. Upon standing on
the bridge, we didn't know where we was going.
At least I didn't care, I knew I was out of the
water, I knew I was going to be dry, wherever
I been. So he told us Tennessee, at first, but
we was at the airport at like five o'clock in
They took us from the bridge to the airport. We
arrived at the airport and they had lines and
lines of people. They were going through checking
and processing. A lot of people don't understand
their behavior. You know, here's the thing. There
could be one single door, and there could be a
fire in the back of the building. There could
be five hundred people in that building, and every
person can be safe, if they alphabetically get
in line and go out that door. But when you hear
the horrible sounds and things are ugly from the
back of you, you want to be the person to go to
that door. So that five-four-foot door now becomes
a two-inch hole, because everybody try to use
But everybody was saying in the back of the line,
if we would have done that, when suddenly roaring
in the back, you want to get out of the way. And
this happened at the Superdome. I don't know what
really caused it, but it was an explosion. I think
one of the youngsters was playing with something
and when he popped it, it sounded like a gunshot.
It might even have been a shampoo bottle, I mean
champagne bottle, right? It made it like a gunshot.
With the old people living in fear of the things
that had happened -- see, what happened is they tried
Because you remember, you believe an eight-one,
eighty-two-year old woman or a four-year-old child
trying to run and people trying to hold children,
trying to run. They had a lady -- I was like manning
a fifty-foot line, they had a bench that we had
put to kind of block -- the lady literally, and she
was not a small person, tried to dive under the
bridge, I mean under the barrier. It was to the
point where like, man, they was just scared. You
can't blame them for their behavior because you
can take people and put them in a position they've
never been put in before.
The authorities were doing what a lot of people
did, try to save themselves. There were no, I
saw at the time, I saw no physical presence of
the New Orleans Police Department. Which I guess
I can understand, because everybody want to live.
But there are certain job that you take, put you
on the front line. But I think they had too many
things that they were dealing with to care about
human life. They had too many other things that
they were dealing with to care about human life.
They might have been caring about their families,
which is not wrong, which to me is not wrong.
My family come first. To serve and protect, the
first commandment of the house. So about a third
of them, they wasn't there.
The Army was there, and they was being Army. It
was like we were in war or something, they was
holding us there, keep them there, keep them out
of the water. So you were dealing with dudes in
the Weekend Warriors. I think it was more Weekend
Warriors. Most of them had never been where true
combat at, so they reacted to this like they were
in war, and that's the kind of thing it was, real,
real ugly, man. I never want to experience again
in life. Even surviving, I never want to experience
again in life. I know I'm going into it and going
to survive, I never want to experience it again.
I think in a sense I was born to be a survivor.
One of the things my wife said to one of her sister-in-law
was, that Sidney was going to make it. If there
is anyway to make it, he's going to make it, because
all my life I've been trained to survive. I've
been in this jungle for a long, long time, so
when you're in the jungle, sometime you learn
to live like a beast, and you gotta do what you
gotta do to survive.
So with the help of God -- and I don't take credit
for all this -- don't get me wrong -- I come from
a praying mother, a praying mother who believed
in God, and I think that if she could have said
one thing before she left the face of the earth,
she was going to say, "God, take care of
my children." If anybody earned, earned,
one request, it was her because always believed
in God, so you know her belief might have been
the check that paid my way through.
It's a good thing she gave me that belief because
it was real. It helped me through but paid my
way through only because I learned after. I didn't
live up under her ways of life. I mean, I told
you I lived on the wrong side of the street most
of my life, by choice. Even with her praying on
me on that side of the street helped. I'm not
going to say that prayers never helped, but I
believe that helped a lot.
I talk to my wife every day. We're thinking now
about maybe we can join up by Friday, at least.
There are some paperwork issues I'd like to get
straight here before I leave. But even if that
doesn't happen, we're going to get together sometime
very soon. It's been awhile, and I really want
to see her face, yeah. We talk on the phone, but
it's nothing like-I really miss her. "Why
did you put that there? Why did you put that,
you could have moved that?" You know, the
things that I didn't like, I really miss. You
know what I'm saying? I miss her fussing, yeah,
I need to get some stuff straightened out here,
because my wife worked for a bank, right? And
right now, she's in Dallas. Her brother's staying
there. So what I think is going to happen, a job
might request her to go, maybe Atlanta, whatever,
Atlanta, Houston, something. And that's where
we're going to settle out. But it's kind of hard-and
now we've been together thirteen years, and it's
going to be like everything is starting all over.
Now, when I hear her talking -- when I was talking
to her the other night, and I could tell-when
you've been with somebody as long as I've been
with my wife, you can tell that she's to the point
where a lot of things are now happening and she'll
just be in a vex, on her. Like everything you
worked for, it's gone. What do you have? Nothing.
What do you have that somebody might have gave
you? I don't think she would ever have this because
she worked hard, we worked hard to put it together.
What we had, you know, and me being a carpenter,
we was able to put our house mostly to the point
where we wanted. If I were to do it the way she
wanted me to do, we'd be completely through. But
I'm the kind of guy say, we'll put it off until
tomorrow. But when I do put it in my mind to do
it, she get on my case and I'd do it and it come
out nice. So I do, I really do, if she get on
my case good enough. So we had did a lot together
and it wasn't supposed to get done, but it was
at the point where it was decent.
And God had given us to put that together, and
it's all gone. We lived like Painter Street. We
lived like four blocks off the lakefront. So how
much water do you think I got? Along the lake,
you know what I'm saying. And the hurtingest part
about it, you know, I haven't seen the house yet.
It's not like I can go online and peep it out.
I haven't seen it live, but the last I heard,
we were still dealing with eight foot of water.
This was this week, so that mean that that water
has been in-so right now most all the sheetrock
has bent off the things.
The favorite portion of the house, where she liked
the best, the den she had built, table set. And
we had mirrors on the wall, and she was never
really confess to this, but it was one of the
best-looking rooms in the house. And I did it.
She would say it's all right, but she knew deep
down that she had fixed it to where it was beautiful,
and I know that all the mirrors have fell off
the wall because the water stood there so long.
And we don't even know where our dog is. We wound
up letting him go, but we don't know whether he
died. I don't think our dog was a survivor. I
really don't think so, so he's going to be well
missed, but you know, we'll get another dog.
We got each other, so when the dust really settled,
we broke even, that's how I look at it. I mean,
come on, how else could you do? You can't put
nothing place of something that's gone. You can
rebuild, but you can never put it back the way
it-it might even come out better, but you can
never put it back the way it was. And the little
things you losing mean more to you than you thought,
you know, but we broke even.
I might go back at some point. With new seed being
put in the ground of life, we may be staying somewheres
else. There may be more to offer somewheres else.
There's always going to be the distant wind blowing
in from New Orleans, so I can't say right now
what we will do. We're dealing with a new experience.
We're going to go forward, all right. The storm
is not going to hinder us from going forward,
but who knows? We may wind up in Austin, because
I thought about that. But she's in the banking
business. She do accounts, she work in trusts,
and she's been doing it for a long time, and from
what I understand, she's very good at what she
But I don't know if there would be a job here
to fit her where she might want to do it. Plus
she graduated from Delgado not too long ago, and
she's getting better. I don't know just -- I don't
know what we're going to do to coordinate her
job with what I do. What I do is carpenter work.
There will be too much of that everywhere. So
me getting a job won't be a problem, but for her-this
is a town, I like this town, because once again
there's a mental phase to all this. I guess by
me living in the city all of my life, most of
my adult life, I learned it's like living somewhere
where smiles are not as genuine, not as real,
or not as often as you see here.
I mean after awhile, I guess a bunch of these
smiles are going to go away, but when people go
to doing things, our society is going to blame
another part of society. The other day, I was
walking down the street and I heard the most horrible
thing. A guy saw a bunch of us all together, and
somebody must have asked who were we. And he said,
"That's the refugees that are staying at
the Convention Center." Then he corrected
himself. Where did this man come from, the moon?
We're taxpayers, so how could we be refugees?
I mean that was an act of ignorance, so you know
I'm not going to say it was a racial slur. I think
that was ignorance. He didn't know nothing else
to say. So to him, I thought he was telling his
child the right thing, which was very dangerous,
because if you tell a child and somebody asked
that child, he'd say what, they're refugees.
So there's a lot of bad information being passed
around. I saw people do things like a couple people
at the Center, and there people in the Center
and they're not doctors, because doctors have
enough intelligence not to do this, some people
living in the Center wearing a mask. Its somewhat
degrading, but you feel sorry for that person
because you know this person don't know what's
going on. We have all, we have all the medical
things -- Talking about food, I haven't had a plate of red
beans and rice, I want some red beans and rice.
I want New Orleans cooking. I mean, don't get
me wrong now, don't get me wrong. These people
have been fixing us nutritious meals, but I come
from a soul food background, and I want a little
bit of that. Two of the guys say there's a Popeye's
up the street, so I'm gonna grab some of that
tomorrow. They say there's a IHOP up the street,
so I'm gonna do some grabbing on that tomorrow.
The best food I enjoy is when I eat with my wife,
I don't care if it's a slice of bread with butter
on it, with half a glass of juice, it will taste
like two steaks and eggs, so I'll be happy when
we be eating together again. So you know, I'm
just the kind of person that -- I take a licking
and I get up and I go forward. I mean I don't
let too many things beat me down because when
I experienced my mother's death, I think it gave
me something that I had lost -- am I talking too
I think I lost something in life, it give you
a second wind. You know what it's like when you
love someone so much and they die and you begin
to understand that things like death and losses,
you understand the simple thing like a storm.
An act of nature, that can get you pretty lonely.
Look at the place where all the mud and water
was coming in and all these thousands and thousands
of people dying, in this big country where there
was an explosion and thousands of people died,
got drowned, it happens. Who would have ever thought
it would happen to the Big Easy? The second-line
city in the world, the Red Bean and Rice Capital,
where everybody say, "Laissez les bons temps
roulez." But the bons temps couldn't roulez
that particular night. It just happened. That's
all, and what you do now, you pick up life. They've
got people in this building never left Louisianna.
They got people in this building never left New
Orleans, so you know now with this, they are forced
to come up with a brand new thing. So now they've
got to start dealing with it and see more of life.
I want to tell you about being positive. Positive
is a situation where when you've been living in
negative, it don't take much to recognize that.
Sometime you are forced to run, and these people
is supposed to change. You can't wait, click your
finger, wake up and open your eyes and you standing
on the other end of Desire or Painter. No, you're
in Texas, and it just so happened you seem to
be in the good part of Texas, because the people
here to me are friendly. They opened their arms
to us but I guess we would have opened our arms
to them. I would like to think, think in my heart,
that we could have been as kind to them as they
are being to us. So that's it.