I once wrote of how I would love to go see New Orleans. Anne Rice's books had me obsessing over it. I tried to go back in 1996 with my friend Sheryl. We walked into a travel agency with our tax refunds and paid for a 4 day trip. the trip included taking an Amtrak round trip, one meal a day, the hotel room which was just off the French Quarter, and two tours of the city. I was so excited. I had my two oldest boys then, they were 4 and 3. I had wired their father money to come get them as we shared custody, but as usual. It didn't work out.
My brother made it to Mardi Gras before I did. He went with a bunch of friends on a cross country trip and Mardi Gras was one of the stops.
He also went to Mardi Gras last year. He was in for a big shock when he saw the destruction that Hurricane Katrina left behind. He told me what freaked him out was how it looked as if the hurricane had gone through there the day before and what freaked him out even more was the fact that the government just kind of completely forgot about New Orleans.
That kind of sounded familiar to me.
The other day I watched a documentary on the musicians of New Orleans. they talked of how they felt their music represented America because they were always there.
I started seeing parallels and similarities from this documentary to another place in history and time.
Just certain things people said in the documentary and the narrator said that made me think of another people.
"History started here too and to write it off means you are not saying anything for your own country."
"It's unbelievable that this was a city for 200 years and the music is all that is left. Where are all the people that gave this city a name, gave it it's culture. There is nobody left."
"I am from here, this is my home, I love the music. When I lost my home to the Hurricane I thought I would rebuild and come back. But what can I do except vote and give the government the right to say what I probably don't want to say. I ain't nothin but a vote in this country during election time. The rest of the time I am forgotten."
"This is my life and home, this (jazz music) is my culture, where do we start to get it back."
One of the last quotes from the documentary I will put down is this one.
"Mardi Gras came back in 2006 to a torn city with an air of joyful defiance, but where does it go from there?"
It was this documentary that made me realize that history is important to all of us. While some people would rather forget about it and push it under a rug, it is important to the people it happened to and it will remain important for generations to come. Just because it is easy for the government to forget it, the people never will.
Hopefully, one of these days I will make it down there, but Yankee Stadium is first.