In an unsuccesful search for that interview mentioned in yesterday's post with Pasquale, I stumbled across this now eerie Drinking in Hurricanes: A Report in the Aftermath of Isidore article, published in Slow Trains Journal in 2003, by Jamie Joy Gatto, editor of Mind Caviar. After Katrina destoyed most of New Orleans, I read that Jamie Joy had waded miles in waist-deep water to escape the city, her home destroyed. A fund was being raised to help her get resettled so that she could eventually continue editorship of her journals.
In the article she writes about hurricane parties and that feeling of invulnerability I think we all have until disaster has actually hit right at home. The article opens with...
When New Orleanians are in peril, the wusses flee and the stubborn stay, gathering together at hurricane parties, where we literally throw caution to the wind by leaving our own homes to drink together. This is a tradition that could only come from a place known as "the city that care forgot." Why do you think they call those drinks at world famous Pat O'Brien's "Hurricanes"? The legend goes that they were invented at a hurricane party in the 1940s during a particularly nasty storm.
and this now poignant close...
Who knows? Maybe that pigeon on our back patio did fare as well as we had through Tropical Storm Isidore. Maybe even better. Maybe that bird did what I'd dare to do if I had my own wings. I'd fly into the storm fast and furiously. Defy it. Play with it. Fight it. Make love to it. Risk dying with it.
I think maybe it would all be worth it.
For the first 24 years I lived in Florida, only one mild hurricane gave my area a direct hit and we never even lost power. After the last two seasons, with much of South Florida, along with other areas, most notably the Gulf States and New Orleans, devasted by storm after storm, I don't think anyone will take hurricanes lightly again. I know I don't. Just the word makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise.