Playlist: Hurricane Katrina
Compiled By: PRX Editors
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were forced to come together to deal with the aftermath. Then, just as they were starting to get back on their feet, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of barrels of oil into the water just off their shores. Cumulatively, these events have made environmentalists out of a whole lot of Gulf Coast residents who may not have considered themselves as such… We tell an hour of stories about the fight for the natural world Gulf Coast bringing residents together, both with one another and with unlikely partners—and how, in some instances, that fight is turning out to be exactly what a community needed to survive… From Turkey Creek, where a historic African-American community fights for its survival with the unlikely allies of rare birds and the Audubon Society, to a residents combing the beach for sea turtle strandings they fear are related to the oil spill, to former spill cleanup workers fighting for recognition of what they believe are oil-exposure-related health problems.
State of the Re:Union - Mississippi Gulf Coast - Defending the Gulf
Host: Al Letson
DESCRIPTION: After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area, Mississippi Gulf Coast residents were forced to come together to deal with the aftermath. Then, just as they were starting to get back on their feet, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped millions of barrels of oil into the water just off their shores. Cumulatively, these events have made environmentalists out of a whole lot of Gulf Coast residents who may not have considered themselves as such… We tell an hour of stories about the fight for the natural world Gulf Coast bringing residents together, both with one another and with unlikely partners—and how, in some instances, that fight is turning out to be exactly what a community needed to survive… From Turkey Creek, where a historic African-American community fights for its survival with the unlikely allies of rare birds and the Audubon Society, to a residents combing the beach for sea turtle strandings they fear are related to the oil spill, to former spill cleanup workers fighting for recognition of what they believe are oil-exposure-related health problems.
Incue: From PRX and NPR
Outcue: But first, this news
News Hole: 1:00-6:00
SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: You're listening to State
Outcue: up on State of the Re:Union
A. Greeting the Gulf: We open this episode on the beach… and hear a series of voices, almost like an incantation, reciting the variety of landscapes in this part of Mississippi, from bayous and beaches to creeks and rivers. Then the voices shift into the uses for them, “shrimping,” “oystering”… And then, a shift into the litany of problems this landscape has faced, hurricanes to the BP oil spill. Host Al Letson sets up the next hour of stories about this place, defined by its environment—and the problems plaguing it.
B. The Birds of Turkey Creek
Back in the late 1800s, when freed slaves founded the community of Turkey Creek on the outskirts of Gulfport, MS, the area was just a swamp, undesirable land to the wealthier whites. But now, the descendents of those freed slaves are having to deal with the battle of their lifetimes to preserve their home from development. It started even before Hurricane Katrina: Gulfport was getting bigger, and what once looked like unappealing wetlands populated by poor blacks began to appear more attractive. In 2001, despite protests from Turkey Creek residents, the city paved over some of the community’s cemetery—including historically significant graves of Turkey Creek’s founding freed slaves—to build an apartment complex. That’s when Derrick Evans, whose family has lived in Turkey Creek for 6 generations, stopped being just a public school teacher and became an activist.
BREAK: 19:00 - 20:00
SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
A. The Birds of Turkey Creek (CONT.)
We pick up the story with Derrick Evans return to Turkey Creek. Through taking a master naturalist class, Derrick discovered that there were several important species of birds that used Turkey Creek as a stop on their annual migration. He recruited the Audubon Society to the effort, and found more environmental organizations to be allies in the fight against development. With these partners on board, Evans and other Turkey Creek residents had a political capital to their argument that they’d lacked before. In the most recent chapter of this battle, a fight against a proposed road that would cut through the heart of Turkey Creek to Gulfport’s port, that political capital made all the difference. The federal EPA got involved and worked out a deal that would allow the highway construction to go forward, but about 1600 acres of wetland surrounding Turkey Creek will be put into a preserve, to remain as it is forever. Host Al Letson wraps up this story with a consideration of the racial dynamics at play in this part of Mississippi, and how they factor into the way things have evolved in Turkey Creek.
B. Dear Mississippi Gulf Coast
A letter from Gulf Coast resident Kara Bachmann about the challenges Mother Nature has thrown at this region in recent years, comparing the Gulf to a headstrong teenager.
C. Combing the Beaches
Though the beaches in Mississippi have been reopened since the oil spill, some residents find life hardly back to normal. Shirley Tillman and Laurel Lockamy have lived on the coast of Mississippi for decades, so they’re used to seeing some of the sea’s detritus on the beaches—a jelly fish, maybe a dead sea gull. But they’ve never seen anything like what’s been washing up on the shore these past several months: dead sea turtles, by the dozens. Shirley, the stay-at-home wife of a construction worker, and Laurel, the wife of a military contractor, are several of a number of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents who’ve begun using their daily walks on the shore to document the dead animals that have been washing up there since the oil spill. They takes pictures, report strandings to the authorities—but is outraged at what she feels is a lack of response. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is conducting tests on the turtles, dolphins, and other animals found. But they’ve been barred by NOAA—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association—from publicly releasing their findings because of pending litigation against BP.
SEGMENT C: (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: This is N-P-R
A. Shrimping After the Spill
Seafood is a big industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast—be it the fishermen or the many seafood shacks that cater to tourists on the beaches. And many of them are still struggling in the wake of the BP Oil Spill. Vietnamese shrimpers are fighting to have their financial devastation recognized by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the authority responsible for dispersing the 20 billion dollars in the fund created by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill. Many of them don’t speak English, and don’t have the meticulous documentation of their livelihood required to make a claim. Lan Diep, a lawyer with the Mississippi Center for Justice, a public interest law firm based in Biloxi, is trying to help shrimpers navigate the claims process. And he’s hearing a range of concerns from his clients, from anxiety about whether BP will pay them—to worries about the ongoing health of the shrimp population. And the Vietnamese shrimpers are only one of many groups taking issue with the claims process. Complaints are heard up and down the Gulf. We hear from Gulf Coast Claims Facility administrator Ken Feinberg on how the process is going.
B. A Town Helps Clean Up, and Gets Sick
When the oil began spilling into the Gulf, residents in the small town of Lucedale, Mississippi jumped at the chance to help in the clean-up effort. Not only were they doing something to help in the disaster, but the relatively well-paying jobs being offered by BP and decontamination facilities looked like good money in this town—especially in the poverty-stricken black neighborhood. This is a part of town still struggling to recover from Katrina—some folks still live in FEMA trailers here, and have roofs with tarps on them. But, looking back on it now, those BP clean-up jobs may not have been such a great deal. We hear from clean-up worker Andre Gains about the troubles Lucedale residents and others now face. They say they were offered little to no safety training, encouraged to work even when feeling sick—and are still dealing with headaches, sore throats, memory loss, nausea, and other health problems that they believe is not such a mystery. Folks in Lucedale have begun working with area chemist—and MacArthur Genius Award winner-- Wilma Subra to get recognition for their medical problems. Subra says the oil spill is causing a slowly unfolding public health crisis in the Gulf Coast region.
C. The Gulf IS Us: In this final montage, we from residents fighting to preserve the Gulf, and their way of life.
PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00
The Fall 2011 Season of State of the Re:Union will be available on PRX and the Content Depot without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to September 16, 2012. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.
State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, presented by PRX, and co-distributed by NPR and PRX. Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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The city of New Orleans is as proud of its traditions as it is steeped in them. But since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city and its residents have been thrust into new relationships with those very traditions they hold so dear. State of the Re:Union visits the Big Easy and explore how the city is negotiating that tension between the old and the new — from race relations to po boys to combating crime — five years after the storm.
STATE OF THE RE:UNION
New Orleans: The Big Easy
SOTRU explores and celebrates New Orleans, Louisiana
HOST: Al Letson
DESCRIPTION: The city of New Orleans is as proud of its traditions as it is steeped in them. But since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city and its residents have been thrust into new relationships with those very traditions they hold so dear. State of the Re:Union visits the Big Easy and explore how the city is negotiating that tension between the old and the new — from race relations to po boys to combating crime — five years after the storm.
Incue: "From PRX and NPR"
Outcue: "But first, this news"
NEWS HOLE: 1:00- 6:00
Segment A (12:29)
Incue: "You're listening to State of the Re:Union"
Outcue: "ahead on State of the Re:Union"
A: SILENCE IS VIOLENCE: New Orleans was a dangerous place before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Afterwards, crime spiked— but the storm seems to have changed many NOLA resident’s tolerance for the ongoing violence in their city. When crime forced its way into the lives of some New Orleans residents in late 2006, they didn’t just mourn their losses. They took action. In this segment, we hear the story of how one bookish ethnomusicologist became the leader of an ongoing fight to stop the violence in New Orleans streets, inspiring thousands of people to march to city hall, and launching an effort to teach teenagers art as an alternative to violent expression.
BREAK: 19:00- 20:00
SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: "You're listening to State of the Re:Union"
Outcue: "P-R-X . O-R-G"
A. CULTIVATING A NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT: For a long time before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had been suffering from brain drain. It’s the old story: talented young people graduated from high school, went away to college and never came back. It was a new story, post-Katrina. The Hurricane brought an influx of young, idealistic people—both home grown and from far flung parts of the country-- who were drawn to the city to help with the rebuilding. And many of them are sticking around, making the transition from work with non-profits into starting their own businesses….
B. A CITY OF CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS: For all the excitement about newcomers to the city, the post-Katrina repopulation has inspired anxiety as well: what will their presence mean for a city that historically is majority African American? Not only are there new white hipsters, but New Orleans has seen a massive influx of Latino immigrants in search of day labor jobs, helping to rebuild the city… and that’s inspired tension over jobs with some other ethnic communities. In this piece, host Al Letson explores the complex racial dynamics of the city’s repopulation, and visits one group that’s trying to seize on this as an opportunity to overcome barriers.
C. TAKING A NEIGHBORHOOD BACK BY STORY: If you wander around New Orleans rough Central City neighborhood, you’ll see signs that say “hear my I-Witness” story, and then a phone number. Pull out your phone, call the number, and you’ll hear a local resident tell the story of that particular spot , a story that maybe no one else in the world knows, from a jazz funeral that the Free Southern Theater held for itself in 1980, to what happened at this house, during Hurricane Katrina. The idea is that retelling these stories helps form the neighborhood’s collective memory, and will bring new people into the fold.
BREAK: 39:00- 40:00
SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: "You're listening to State of the Re:Union"
Outcue: "This is NPR"
A. INDIAN MUSIC: We begin this segment’s exploration of New Orleans culture with a brief sound portrait from the Mardi Gras Indians’ annual Super Sunday tradition, introducing us to the Indians and their chants…
B. SISSY BOUNCE: Go to a club on a Friday night in New Orleans, and if you hear hip hop, you’ll more likely than not also be hearing Bounce. It’s a super local NOLA style of hip hop, driven by call-and-response repetitive lyrics and a distinctive skittering rhythm that sounds pure New Orleans. It’s wildly popular in the city, and, thanks to a brand new album from the NOLA-based jam band Galactic, it may soon be making its mark across the country. But outside of its musical innovations, there’s another thing that makes some Bounce distinctive: some of its biggest stars are gay. And out. Very out. So-called “Sissy rappers” are among the hottest Bounce artists, folks like Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, and Katey Red, a gay, transvestite from the Uptown projects. Open homosexuality and cross-dressing does have a strong history in New Orleans. Drag costume balls have been happening in the city since as early as the 40s. Now, Sissy Rappers pack the clubs.
C. SAVING THE PO BOY: In a city that loves—loves—food, po boy sandwiches are arguably the culinary icon of the city. The sandwich is as diverse as New Orleans, a culinary crossroads, from the French bread to the fillings ranging from roast beef to fried oysters to southern ham. But Hurricane Katrina introduced a new chapter in the sandwich’s history. Already fighting fast food chains for customers, some mom & pop po boy shops in heavily flooded neighborhoods have had a hard time rebuilding. Because of Katrina closings, traditional bakeries like the father-son run Gendusa Bakery lost a huge portion of their customer base. But the hurricane also inspired the po boy’s champions: a festival and a Po Boy Preservation Society have been established in Katrina’s wake, aimed at educating young New Orleanians about the city’s signature sandwich, to make sure both it—and the families who sell it—survive.
D. DEAR NEW ORLEANS: A “Dear New Orleans” letter from Carol Bebelle, founder of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center.
E. “KATRINA FATIGUE” MONOLOGUE/VOX: Al offers some reflections on the degree to which New Orleans is receding from the thoughts of the rest of the U.S., and how his time in the city has changed his perceptions of it. Intermixed with Al’s monologue are the perspectives of a range of New Orleans residents.
PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00
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Note: This program is available through PRX and Content Depot.
This program is available without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to December 31, 2010. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only. The State of the Re:Union is produced by Al Letson, and presented by PRX. Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Please contact Israel Smith at email@example.com or 612-377-3256 with questions or to confirm carriage.
For Nat Turner, garden rakes and shovels are tools for transformation.
He's transformed an old store in New Orlean's Lower Ninth Ward into an urban Eden. Blair Grocery is now both a nontraditional school and an urban farm run by youth who’ve dropped out of mainstream education. Majora spends two days observing the teaching and training that makes the Blair Grocery Project a true innovation.
Nat Turner was one of countless volunteers from New York who raced to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina five years ago, hoping to help with the rebuilding. Turner was a high school history teacher in Manhattan who brought more than 2,000 students to New Orleans on a bright blue school bus with the name of his organization painted on the sides: “NY2NO.”
Over a two-year period, Turner drove busloads of kids back and forth to pitch in with cleanup work. But long after most relief workers had left, and as the number of volunteers dwindled, Turner recognized that there was still so much more to be done and the city was still in need of grassroots organizing and support. He decided to stay, centering his efforts on the most devastated part of the city, the Lower Ninth Ward.
To date, only 10 percent of that community has returned — with only one school open and no services like stores and hospitals. His students and trainees at Our School at Blair Grocery are learning to grow organic produce, which they’re now selling to local gourmet restaurants.
Before Katrina, Sharon Hanshaw owned a beauty salon and lived in a house on a tree-lined street. All that all changed when the hurricane hit Biloxi, Mississippi. The storm brought her not just destruction, but also transformation. As executive director of Coastal Women for Change, she has turned her losses into strength, by becoming an advocate and role model for others. Hanshaw’s work empowers women to be political voices in the long-range planning and rebuilding of their community.
Still Singing the Blues: New Orleans and South Louisiana features musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana who continue to perform the blues—often despite poverty, ill health, and the impacts of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. We have included two versions, one with a billboard and one without a billboard. The billboard version is 55 minutes long. The one without the billboard is 53 minutes and 59 seconds long. Timing and cues are given for the billboard version.
Still Singing the Blues features musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana who continue to perform both traditional blues and rhythm-and-blues—often despite poverty, ill health, and the impacts of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The hour-long, music-rich documentary burrows into the lives of three outstanding older performers: Carol Fran of Lafayette, Harvey Knox of Baton Rouge, and Little Freddie King of New Orleans. Listeners will travel with these musicians to recording sessions, street corners, birthday celebrations, and neighborhood taverns.
Also interviewed are blues pianist and singer Marcia Ball; blues-and-funk guitarist Ernie Vincent; and Bethany Bultman, president of the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.
Producers Richard Ziglar and Barry Yeoman have been interviewing older Southern blues and R&B musicians for the past 18 months. Their last documentary, Truckin' My Blues Away, was commissioned and distributed by AARP's Prime Time Radio and broadcast on 325 stations. The current, independently-produced project, Still Singing the Blues, is sponsored by Filmmakers Collaborative and funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Accompanying this documentary is a web site, http://stillsingingtheblues.org, which features additional audio clips, photographs, a blog, and links for readers who want to obtain CDs, find music venues, and learn more about non-profit organizations that promote Louisiana's music and support its musicians. The producers will add audio and photos to the site throughout the coming year.
Project director Richard Ziglar is an audio documentarian whose credits include Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions; AARP’s Prime Time Radio; American Public Media’s “The Story”; and the North Carolina Arts Council. Reporter Barry Yeoman, a former Louisianan, is a freelance journalist who writes for O, The Oprah Magazine; AARP The Magazine; Audubon Magazine; and Good Housekeeping. His radio program Picking Up the Pieces, about the parents of injured veterans, won the 2009 Gracie Allen award for outstanding mid-length documentary. Ziglar and Yeoman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.This is the first of a two-part series about the blues in New Orleans and South Louisiana. Part 2 will be released later this summer, but the two hours can be broadcast separately and independently.
From Smart City Radio | 58:54
This week on Smart City, we'll find out how Post-Katrina New Orleans is retaining the talent that rushed in to rebuild that city with Educate Now's Leslie Jacobs. And we'll discuss using technology to "liberate learning" with author Terry Moe.
As classrooms open again this month in cities across the country,
schools are on our minds.
Today on the show we have two revolutionaries in the field of education.
Leslie Jacobs is a native of New Orleans who is using her experience
as a business executive to reform public schools. She's the
founder of a not-for-profit called "Educate Now," and she'll join us
to talk about the work she's doing to rebuild the education system in New
Orleans and keep talent in the city.
Technology has changed the way we do almost everything...from banking
to shopping, to the ways we communicate. But the average school classroom
is not much different today than it was fifty years ago. We'll find out how
technology could revolutionize education, and what's holding it back from
author and Stanford professor Terry Moe.
We travel the streets of New Orleans, old and new, before and after Katrina.
We travel the streets of New Orleans, old and new, before and after Katrina. Mostly we?ll hear celebrations of the city, but there?ll also be a few complaints -- notably from Mayor Ray Nagin and Kanye West... PLAYLIST: ARTIST | AUDIO | ALBUM (*=PRX piece) 1. Louis Armstrong | Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans | The Legendary Satchmo 2. Long Haul Productions / Jolie Holland | I Wanna Die* | 3. Eluard Burt | New Orleans | -- 4. Mahalia Jackson | Recollections of New Orleans Music | I Sing Because I'm Happy 5. Andrei Codrescu / Larry Massett | Poetry Combine* | -- 6. The Legendary K.O. / Kanye West | George Bush Doesnt Care About Black People | FWMJ 7. Louis Armstrong | Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? | Blues For Yesterday
From karen oberdorfer | 29:57
A first-time pet rescuer's tale. Music is blended with interviews with volunteers and returning residents to New Orleans just after the hurricane.
This 27:09 story is an example of why disaster response today has been shaped by the mistakes of Katrina. Karen narrates about her experience volunteering in a disaster zone for the first time. She includes many voices. A couple reuniting with their rescued dog. Returning residents searching for their pets. Volunteers who have nightmares when they return to homes far away from the chaos. They come back to volunteer again and again. A social worker who speaks about PTSD. Along the way we hear of Karen’s foibles and disappointments as well as the disaster response community’s challenges. The sound would not be complete without KPFA’s Dev Ross’ sensitive editing and mixing. And his alligator sounds.
From Claes Andreasson | 29:15
Celebrating Cajun cooking in Los Angeles. People who were evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, gather for a taste of real Cajun crawfish in the backyard of Cain Angelle.
As Hurrican Katrina hit the Guld Coast, many people were evacuated from the region. Some came to Los Angeles. But being far from home doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of the Louisiana culture. Once every year Cain Angelle invites his friends to try some real Cajun crawfish. With all the species, vegetables and sausages. Properly served on a long table covered with newspaper.
The Cajun Crawfish Boil is hosted by Cain Angelle and his good friend Jason Blum. And the hot crawfish are enjoyed by their friends.
From Claes Andreasson | 19:32
After the Storm is a feature-length documentary film that follows the production of the musical Once on this Island, including the story of each young actor's life in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
After the Storm is a feature-length documentary film that follows the production of the musical Once on this Island from auditions through performances and also includes the story of each young actor's life in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Filmmaker Hilla Medalia, cast members Ashley Rose Butler and Hanna Guillary, dreictor/choreographer Gerry McIntrye and producer James Lecesne talks about working on the musical, about the documentary and about life in New Orleans during and after the storm.
Filmmaker Hilla Medalia gently explores the young actors?daily lives, how they are coping with a struggling school system, limited job opportunities and the loss of family members and friends. Through their eyes, the film? audiences can view the recent history of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina? impact through the lens of a group of talented young people.
From Sarah Yahm | 07:06
This is an oral history montage from Katrina evacuees about their experiences in New Orleans and the way they were treated by the police and other authorities.
This is an oral history montage produced with audio collected by Alive in Truth: The New Orleans Disaster Oral History and Memory Project. We hear the voices of a number of different Katrina evacuees as they describe the way they survived and their relationships with authorities and other people during the aftermath of the storm.
From Alexandra Woodruff | 08:08
"Our house became a boat."
Lifelong residents of New Orleans, the Green family shows the resilience and strength of those who lived through Hurricane Katrina. Their story is one of persistence and of the love for the communities they are determined to rebuild. This piece tells the story of three members of the Green Family: Nellie Green Francis, her son Walter and her nephew, Robert Green.
Lifelong residents of New Orleans, the Green family shows the resilience and strength of those who lived through Hurricane Katrina. Their story is one of persistence and of the love for the communities they are determined to rebuild. This piece tells the story of three members of the Green Family: Nellie Green Francis, her son Walter and her nephew, Robert Green. Robert lost his mother (Nellie's sister) and his granddaughter when the levees broke a year ago. Alexandra L. Woodruff went to New Orleans in Spring to report their story. She recorded the interviews on a Marantz Flash recorderd and edited the story in Pro Tools.
From David Weinberg | 06:17
New Orleans bartenders attempt to break land speed record with Katrina flooded car
World-Famous motorcycle designer J.T. Nesbittt was in the middle east, meeeting with the prince of Bahrain to discuss a million dollar motorcycle deal when Katrina arrived on the shores of Louisiana. He lost his job and everything he owned so he took a job tending bar to make ends meet. The owner of the bar offered him a flood ravaged Linoln that had been rotting in his driveway ever since the storm. J.T. took one look at the destroyed vehicle and decided he wanted to turn it into a race car and attempt to break a land speed record at the Bonneville salt flats in Utah. Then he came up with a crazy plan to get the car to Utah...
From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 06:31
Debra Dickinson used to live in Slidell, Louisiana and left to come to Maine after living through the storm. Far from home, she talks of how she survived the storm, how she helped the helpless, how she got to Maine, and how all she wants now is to go home.
Debra Dickinson used to live in Slidell, Louisiana and left to come to Maine after living through hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of the storm. Far from home, she talks of how she survived the storm, how she helped the helpless, how she got to Maine, and how all she wants now is to go home. The producer composed and recorded the music.
A story of what happened to Clyde Casey when Martial Law was imposed on New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
My friend Casey was a holdout during Hurricane Katrina. He worked occasionally for a friend who owned Old Time Photo, one of those business where you take fake historical photos with your friends. On the night president Bush came to the city there was a seven pm curfew. Casey was heading home at seven twenty when he had an encounter with a couple of state troopers. Casey tells the story of what happened next.
From Jamie Dell'Apa | 03:16
Terry's cell at Orleans Parish Prison became a drowning cage as the flood waters from Hurricane Katrina rose almost to the ceiling. As his drowned cellmate floats near him and inmates are screaming, Terry tells us his thoughts as he faces his own ignoble, inhumane death. These thoughts are what continue to haunt him (and perhaps us) in this Katrina remembrance.
Terry could have been any tourist in my neighborhood - arrested on a public drunk charge in the French Quarter. Tragically, his arrest was just before Hurricane Katrina.
After Katrina passed but before the water from the broken levees seeped into the jail, Orleans Parish Prison staff locked the inmates into their cells then turned off the water and power for the lights. In his first floor cell, Terry's sleep was broken by screaming. As he put his foot down to investigate, his shoe filled with water. Then the fetid flood waters slowly rose to Terry's ankles, knees, waist and his chest. What started as an inconvenient administrative arrest was evolving into the primal fear of death by drowning.
Unaware of how high the water would rise, Terry and the other inmates climbed their cell bars. Some panicked at their imminent drownings. Some called for their mothers. Some drowned.
In this piece, Terry tells us his thoughts as he contemplates his own death. Thoughts that have stayed with him to this day. Perhaps the same final thoughts shared by so many New Orleanians who trusted the construction of the levees and their homes more than the perils of evacuation. Thoughts so many of us contemplated as we witnessed the drowning of an American city just five years ago.
Produced by WWOZ show host and French Quarter resident, Jamie Dell'Apa
From Ruxandra Guidi | 03:39
Some of the cars tossed around by Katrina ended up in the unlikeliest of places: Bolivia. They're sold on the cheap and look almost new on the outside, but many of these so-called "Katrina cars" aren't exactly the bargain they seem.
One of the many, many indelible images of the disaster was all those cars and trucks tossed around by the storm. Sometimes deposited on rooftops, or atop a telephone pole. Some of those cars ended up in the unlikeliest of places: Bolivia. They're sold on the cheap and look almost new on the outside, but many of these so-called "Katrina cars" aren't exactly the bargain they seem.
From Eve Abrams | 03:00
Amid the vast destruction and loss of Hurricane Katrina, Eve didn't want to forget what it is she values so deeply about the Crescent City.
When Katrina hit, Roy Calabrisi, 83, stayed in his home. But after he suffered a heart attack, he was taken by boat and then airlifted to a hospital for successful heart surgery. His younger brother, Tony, 77, evacuated his home in St. Bernard Parish just before it was reported that the levees had broken.
When Katrina hit, Roy Calabrisi, 83, stayed in his home. But after he suffered a heart attack, he was taken by boat and then airlifted to a hospital for successful heart surgery. His younger brother, Tony, 77, evacuated his home in St. Bernard Parish just before it was reported that the levees had broken. Roy's home flooded and then burned when a fire started next door. Tony and Roy have an older brother, Sal. They also have two sisters. One, who is 82, moved to Alabama with another sister after Katrina totaled her home. Roy vows never to leave, saying "When I go, I'll go out feet first."
One night High School band director Willbert Rawlins Jr. was walking through the French Quarter with his wife when he came across a group of his students hustling tourists. He felt like he had failed as a teacher to keep his students out of trouble so he helped them become professional musicians and today they are the TBC Brass band.
In the recent book Nine Lives by Dan Baum, Willbert Rawlins Jr is one of the characters who takes us through life in New orleans before and after hurricane katrina. Rawlins was instrumental in helping a group of kids leave the hustle of the streets and start their own brass band. They became TBC Brass band, one of New Orleans hottest bands.
Three months into his new job at the South Mississippi Sun Herald in Gulfport, reporter Joshua Norman helped cover Hurricane Katrina's aftermath on the Gulf Coast.
Three months into his new job at the South Mississippi Sun Herald in Gulfport, reporter Joshua Norman, helped cover Hurricane Katrina's aftermath on the Gulf Coast. Norman loaded his car with valuables (photos from Africa, his guitar, passport, board games, beer and whiskey), and parked it in a garage before setting out to report on the storm around Long Beach, Miss., a town he regularly covers. The newspaper's work led to a Pulitzer Prize for public service.
New Orleans police officer David Duplantier tells his wife, Melissa Eugene, about patrolling the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.
A 16-year veteran of the New Orleans Police Department, David Duplantier [doo-plan-tee-A] went on patrol at the Superdome on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005. He was there for more than a week. The Superdome was meant to be a refuge, a temporary shelter before those trapped in New Orleans could be evacuated. But instead of withstanding the storm, Duplantier says, "the roof literally looked like an eggshell. It started to peel. And you could hear the wind." The floodwaters rose all around the Superdome, essentially trapping those who sought shelter there. But, Duplantier says, "The people never stopped coming in." His wife, Melissa Eugene, had already fled inland as Katrina approached. And as he kept working -- and not sleeping, Duplantier says, "All I wanted to do was let you know I wasn't dead, I was alive." "The whole thing felt like a really bad dream," Duplantier says. When he was released from his duties at the Superdome, "I remember just feeling like I just escaped," Duplantier recalls. He immediately tracked his wife down. "That was the happiest day of my life," Melissa says.
Douglas P. deSilvey talks about losing his wife, daughter, mother-in-law, and father-in-law in Hurricane Katrina.
A native of the Gulf Coast, Douglas P. deSilvey [duh SILL-vee] , 60, lives in Gulfport, Miss. It's where he met his wife, and where they raised their daughter. Beginning his recollection of the last days of August, 2005, deSilvey says, "The story I want to tell today is about my family." Speaking of his wife, daughter and mother-in-law, Nadine, deSilvey says, "The three women in my family have steered my life for the past 59 years, to the man that I am today." Before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the family retreated to deSilvey's mother-in law's house, as they had for many storms. But a look out into the bay behind the house convinced deSilvey that the water would rise too high. As he tried to warn his family about the danger, the roof collapsed. DeSilvey's wife, Linda Allen deSilvey, 57, and daughter, Donna K. deSilvey, 35, died, as did Linda's mother, Nadine Allen Gifford, 79, and her husband, Edward "Ted" Gifford, 79.
Interstitials (Under 2:00)
The Colton Tapes (Series)
Produced by David Weinberg
All the pieces in this series were edited from two long sessions recorded in the old band room of Colton Middle School in New Orleans. The school tried to open after Katrina but had to close after just two months of classes because the mold was too toxic. It sat empty for three years until it was lent to a group of artists who renovated the building and turned the classrooms into "art studios" Thaddeus came over with some poems and Sunni and Josh played the instruments that were in the room. Herbie and Joseph sat on the floor and listened.
Most recent piece in this series:
John Taylor was born in New Orleans' Charity Hospital and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward. One of his sisters died at the hospital during Hurricane Katrina because of a power failure.
John Taylor was born in New Orleans' Charity Hospital and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward. One of his sisters died at the hospital during Hurricane Katrina because of a power failure. The storm also destroyed his childhood home, including the only things Taylor, a dockworker, says he really wanted from there: photos of himself when he was younger.
Dr. Kiersta Kurtz-Burke tells her husband, Dr. Justin Lundgren, about caring for patients at Charity Hospital in the days following Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Kiersta Kurtz-Burke spent five days trapped inside storm-damaged Charity Hospital, caring for patients as they awaited rescue. Speaking in their New Orleans home, Kurtz-Burke tells her husband, Dr. Justin Lundgren, about conditions inside the hospital right after the power generators went out. After a gas leak was discovered in the hospital, Kurtz-Burke wrote a letter to family and friends just in case anything happened. She had 16 patients on her floor of the hospital, along with numerous family members of patients and staff. After the storm, Charity Hospital was shut down and all employees were laid off.
Rufus Burkhalter, 61, and his friend and co-worker Bobby Brown, 58, are water-pump operators at Pumping Station No. 6 along the 17th Street Canal in New Orleans. In the days after Katrina hit, Burkhalter and Brown risked their lives inside the station, continuing to work even after the levees broke.
Rufus Burkhalter, 61, and his friend and co-worker Bobby Brown, 58, are water-pump operators at Pumping Station No. 6 along the 17th Street Canal in New Orleans. In the days after Katrina hit, Burkhalter and Brown risked their lives inside the station, continuing to work even after the levees broke. Pump Station 6, in Orleans Parish, is one of the world's largest pumping stations. Brown's home in the Lower Ninth Ward was submerged and destroyed, and everything inside Burkhalter's home was severely damaged by the rising water. The pair have worked together for more than 20 years.