Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cheers for Houston's citizens

From NewsFlash:
"Standing in the Rose Garden, Bush said, "This recovery will take a long time. This recovery will take years."

He said buses were on the way to help take thousands of storm survivors from the overwhelmed Superdome in New Orleans to the Astrodome in Houston."

Meanwhile, from assorted word-of-mouth sources, rumor has it the bulldozers and earth-movers are already rolling on neighborhoods, but I've yet to be able to confirm that.

David Benzion* of The Lone Star Times, blogging from the Holiday Inn at the Astrodome, says:

"In a stunning and completely inexplicable display of compassion and generosity, citizens of Houston have begun to offer assistance to arriving refugees without ever having been directed to do so by a properly authorized governmental authority.

Your reporter witnessed this bizarre behavior principally in the Fiesta parking lot across from the Astrodome at Kirby and La Concha. Throughout the evening, several hundred refugees attempted to enter the Astrodome parking lot in crammed and crowded cars, only to be told that they would not be allowed in, since they hadn’t been part of the "official" Superdome caravan and the necessary supplies could not be guaranteed.

Ignoring their lack of proper bureaucratic classification, the plight of these "renegade refugees" was soon alleviated by a steady stream of private individuals and groups who gathered together in the above mentioned parking lot and began to offer assistance. It is not clear when, if ever, this parking lot was designated by federal officials to serve as a "refugee relocation and relief" zone.

One local anarchist boldly grilled and handed out upwards of 400 pounds of free hot dogs, knowingly flouting his lack of public food preparation permits."
*advisory: this blog tends to be over-sensational, with a right-wing agenda I dislike intensely. He was the only eyewitness-on-the-web I could find (so far) posting about the Astrodome situation.

Basin Street Blues, Louis Armstrong

Won't you come and go with me
Down that Mississippi
We'll take a boat to the land of dreams
Come along with me on, down to New Orleans

Now the band's there to greet us
Old friends will meet us
Where all them folks goin to the St. Louis Cemetary meet
Heaven on earth.... they call it Basin Street

I'm tellin' ya, Basin Street...... is the street
Where all them characters from the First street they meet
New Orleans..... land of dreams
you'll never miss them rice and beans
Way down south in New Orleans

They'll be huggin'.... and a kissin'
That's what I been missin'
And all that music....lord, if you just listen'
New Orleans....I got them Basin Street Blues

(instrumental break)

Now ain't you glad you went with me
On down that Mississippi
We took a boat to the land of dreams
Heaven on earth...they call it Basin Street

More images.


Anonymous said...

Awesome job Mac!! Jean Marie

Dawno said...

David Benzion guy might usually be a rabid right winger (hmmm...maybe I should check it out - lol) but that post sounded rather liberal...or did I miss something? I mean there was to me a sense of tongue firmly in cheek with a lot of it. I loved how he called the hotdog griller an anarchist. :-)

I spoke to a Houstonite this morning who works for Shell. The company is frantic over possible lost employees and doing a lot to try and locate them all as well as sending folks to do whatever volunteer work is needed of them all on full pay. He also said that he was proud of his city for all they were doing for the refugees. Said that about 50,000 had shown!