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Getting Home (Chapter 1)

3/22/2019

An excerpt from Getting Home

Chapter One: A Teacher and a Lawyer Walk into a Hippie Tent

The eeriest thing was the stillness. Especially at night when there should have been bugs and frogs singing all around, we would lie in our tent and listen to the silence. There were no birds to wake us up in the morning, only the sounds of people wrestling pots and pans, preparing breakfast. In the middle of a once-vibrant parish just outside New Orleans proper, it was too quiet.

This was six months after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, six months after the levees failed and stormwater rushed through streets, over and into homes, businesses, and hospitals. New Orleans filled up like a bowl. The water fast became a toxic stew of lake water, industrial runoff, fossil fuels, and sewage. Over Labor Day weekend 2005, from our home in Washington, DC, we watched news coverage in horror as people were rescued--or worse, waited to be rescued--off rooftops and trees, dazed and sunburned, while dead bodies and cars floated down neighborhood streets.

Read the entire chapter from Getting Home.

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