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Thursday, September 01, 2005

National Treasures

I've been trying not to think about the cultural ramifications of the disaster, with particular regard to New Orleans. It's simply too depressing to consider how much music, art, literature, cuisine, stands to be lost in addition to the unbearable numbers of dead, how much pure talent may have been totally washed away or slowly drowned in attics waiting for help that did not arrive. Which is why it hurt so much to see that Fats Domino hasn't been heard from in days. Wherever y'at, Fat Man, God be with you.
[update] - Fats and his family have been found.

[update] - More bad news. Allen Toussaint is missing too, as is Irma Jones. The Nevilles are safe; their homes destroyed:

Dry and safe, but in not much better shape, is the famous Neville family of New Orleans. Aaron Neville and many members of the family evacuated on Monday to Memphis, where they are now staying in a hotel.

But most of the Nevilles’ homes are destroyed, reports their niece and my colleague at “A Current Affair,” Arthel Neville. She went down to her hometown yesterday and called me from a boat that was trying to get near town.

“This isn’t like having two feet of water in your basement,” she said, holding back tears. “Everything is destroyed. I am just so lucky to have been born here and to have had the experience of New Orleans."

She confirmed that there had been rumors of dead bodies floating around her Uncle Aaron’s house yesterday. So far, the Nevilles are unannounced to participate in Friday’s TV telethon.

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