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Dear America

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Gard, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    A friend (and fellow TBer) sent me this to me this morning, and while I'm no longer reside in Louisiana, I AM a Louisianian, in my heart, so these words are from us all:

    Dear America,

    I suppose we should introduce ourselves: We're South Louisiana.

    We have arrived on your doorstep on short notice and we apologize for
    that, but we never were much for waiting around for invitations. We're
    not much on formalities like that.

    And we might be staying around your town for a while, enrolling in
    your schools and looking for jobs, so we wanted to tell you a few
    things about us. We know you didn't ask for this and neither did we, so
    we're just going to have to make the best of it.

    First of all, we thank you. For your money, your water, your food,
    your prayers, your boats and buses and the men and women of your
    National Guards, fire departments, hospitals and everyone else who has
    come to our rescue.

    We're a fiercely proud and independent people, and we don't cotton
    much to outside interference, but we're not ashamed to accept help when
    we need it. And right now, we need it.

    Just don't get carried away. For instance, once we get around to
    fishing again, don't try to tell us what kind of lures work best in
    your waters.

    We're not going to listen. We're stubborn that way.

    You probably already know that we talk funny and listen to strange
    music and eat things you'd probably hire an exterminator to get out of
    your yard.

    We dance even if there's no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too
    much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we're
    suspicious of others who don't.

    But we'll try not to judge you while we're in your town.

    Everybody loves their home, we know that. But we love South Louisiana
    with a ferocity that borders on the pathological. Sometimes we bury our
    dead in LSU sweatshirts.

    Often we don't make sense. You may wonder why, for instance - if we
    could only carry one small bag of belongings with us on our journey to
    your state - why in God's name did we bring a pair of shrimp boots?

    We can't really explain that. It is what it is.

    You've probably heard that many of us stayed behind. As bad as it is,
    many of us cannot fathom a life outside of our border, out in that
    place we call Elsewhere.

    The only way you could understand that is if you have been there, and
    so many of you have. So you realize that when you strip away all the
    craziness and bars and parades and music and architecture and all that
    hooey, really, the best thing about where we come from is us.

    We are what made this place a national treasure. We're good people.
    And don't be afraid to ask us how to pronounce our names. It happens
    all the time.

    When you meet us now and you look into our eyes, you will see the
    saddest story ever told. Our hearts are broken into a thousand pieces.

    But don't pity us. We're gonna make it. We're resilient. After all,
    we've been rooting for the Saints for 35 years. That's got to count for

    OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at
    inappropriate times.

    But what the hell.

    And one more thing: In our part of the country, we're used to having
    visitors. It's our way of life.

    So when all this is over and we move back home, we will repay to you
    the hospitality and generosity of spirit you offer to us in this season
    of our despair.

    That is our promise. That is our faith.
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Oh, and one other thing.....

    When one of us breaks out this stuff we call "cajun hot sauce", take a big mouthful of it. Don't hold back. You'll love it.

  3. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    "OK, maybe something else you should know is that we make jokes at inappropriate times."

    ...I rest my case.

  4. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Here's something from the Washington Post.

    A Cajun Party With a Purpose

    Even in the most disastrous of times, Cajuns know how to party.

    "We're asking people to bring rice and onions over here to make some jambalaya."

    "And beans. They need some red beans."

    "Propane burners, too. Gotta bring over some supplies."

    A few days after the most devastation these tough southern Louisiana residents have ever seen, The Rajun' Cajun radio station had this latest request. The folks at Grande Isle, a small slip of land that ended up underwater, needed something hot to eat as they returned to their property.

    That very evening, the makeshift emergency center was filling up with jambalaya supplies.

    The Rajun' Cajun radio station has been on air during and since the hurricane. But it hasn't been playing much of its all-Cajun-all-the-time music. It is acting as a go-between for everyone who needs everything.

    "How many kids are at the Civic Center?" a woman caller asked. "Because I've got 100 Beanie Babies I been collecting."

    "You bring 100 Beanie Babies over there, you get 100 smiles," said Captain Kirk, who typically is host of "Talk of the Bayou."

    In a land of leaning and splintered telephone poles, shrimp boats tossed along bayou banks like toys, and houses, trailers and houseboats just decimated, the radio station has been this self-sufficient area's link between those who have and those who need. The station opened its warehouse immediately after the hurricane to let people drop off food, water and supplies. It has been filled and refilled. Walk into the entrance, and volunteers are taking a sweaty break on two recliners ready for a dry new home. A virtual grocery store is lined with families, many picking up disinfectant and other cleaning supplies. Large men in sleeveless T-shirts are outside grilling sausage, with a side of sausage for anyone who walks by. And Connie Callais, a retired teacher whose home is without power, has containers of hot rice and beans for anyone who wants them.

    "This is the generosity of Cajuns," Callais said arms wide as she took in the stocked warehouse.

    I'm a dyed in the wool Yankee, but having been to the Big Easy and taking in Southern culture over the years, I'll have to say the culture is unique, endearing, and definitely worth preserving. If anything good is to come from this disaster, it will be that the rest of the country can finally experience that culture at their front doorsteps. Bout time you guys started sharing the good y'all got ;)

    My prayers and support for everyone in this tragedy, and if anyone can figure out a way to find some good out of it - it will be a Cajun!
  5. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Speaking of Cajun Hot Sauce...

    Did Avery Island Survive? So I need to go stock up on ambrosia?
  6. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    I'm sure it's fine, they're well west of New Orleans, and there was no trouble there that I'm aware of.

    I'm worried about gettin' my Zatarain's though, they're IN New Orleans....

  7. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I just checked Tabasco's website.

    The sever is shot, so most of the site uis down, but Avery Island is unaffected.

    All of their NOLA personell made it out, too and have been relocated.


  8. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    How is Zatarain's? They just started advertising that up here a couple few months ago.
  9. realitycheck


    Sep 8, 2005
    Well I will have to say that you guys are some of the nicest people ive ever met. Especially to go through what you have. I live in Birmingham, Alabama and we had 21 louisianians "I guess you would say" at our church for the weekend. They never once complained all they had to say was thank you. We actually thanked them for the blessings that they taught us.
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    great letter.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Its funny.

    In my Warcraft circle of friends, about 5 or 6 of them are from Slidel... They're all currently displaced, but think they'll have a home to return to. One have them, has decided to move to Gainesville.

    Anyway, one of this evacuee's posted a link on a guild forum we all troll on... This link was nothing more than a timeline of events, starting about 2 days prior to katrina hitting landfall... to present day. Its liberally slanted.

    Well, one of our friends took it upon himself to start railroading anyone & everyone, who's from Louisiana, w/o any regards to how it might actually affect the evacuee's...

    I had to bust the guy out... I mean ***.... I think evacee's are entitled to feel pretty pissed off right now. Right or wrong, or whether the governmental units could've done something differently isnt the point.... These peoples lives are in complete upheaval... I think they deserve a good rant, w/o getting jabbed in the face.
  12. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    So, um, what's the point of that email? Seems a bit wishy washy, if you know what I mean. I'm guessing that people who are being put up or getting help finding jobs are able enough to say thanks without someone spreading an email like that, which just makes lots of generalisations. I'm trying to say this without making it look like I don't care.

    Actually, screw it. If you're helping out someone who's lost their home, or you've met them through church or clubs or whatever, talk to them there. One guy writing a vapid email and spreading it around isn't necessary. I'm not saying what happened wasn't terrible, but that email annoys me. The individuals you know will show any gratefulness they have towards you in their own way, not through some chain email.
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Personally, I find the letter to be classy, not wishy-washy. When you survive a disaster like this there is no way to personally thank all those who have helped. From the stranger that handed you a bottle of water to the stranger from far away that donated that water, there are countless people involved in aiding people surviving this tragedy. Many of those who provided help are going to be people that the victims may never see again or people they may never have the chance to meet. An e-mail like that is one of the few ways, that someone can reach as many as possible to thank them and introduce themselves. It is Southern manners at it's finest.
  14. I'm just afraid that all of the newly homeless who came to Houston are just going to stay here and worsen our homeless population. Theres already too many here as it is.
  15. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    You are NOT welcome in South Louisiana...thanks.

    You wouldn't "get it" anyhow.

    We'd prefer to have the company of people that are actually decent people that have fun....I'm afraid you wouldn't qualify.

  16. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    I think you'll find that most of those people will want to go home.

    Thanks to your city for helping us out though, really.
  17. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Very good. Even the pre-packaged stuff is pretty darn good! I really like the jambalaya and the dirty rice mixes. The red bean and rice is ok, but I prefer to just make my own (using a liberal amount of Zatarain's Liquid Crab Boil :D ).
  18. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    In college, Zatarain's was inexpensive and tastey!! It almost became like Cajun/Creole Ramen!

    oh.. and for stocking up...


    Just because you never know...

  19. Yeah, I agree with you that there will be a lot of people who want to go back, but I also think that there will be people who lost everything and had no insurance, and now see no need to go back.

    And now, I know it isn't much, but lately where I work has seen thousands of people from Louisiana, and make sure I do my best to make them leave from there with a smile on their face. It's not much, but really it's all I can offer.

    It is nice seeing people I know spend their time to head to the 'dome or wherever else and volunteer their time. :)
  20. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I spent about 6 hours with evacuees this weekend (and will be back for more when my next tour is over) - and, like I found when I went to NO, the folks were great! I spent most of the day working with children, but the adults were just as wonderful as I remember from my trips. A little shell-shocked, as they had arrived only a day or two before, and were living with 13,000 other people - so that's to be understood.

    Thanks, Gard - I passed it on. I'm thinking of sending it to burntgorilla...