Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My next-door-neighbor owes his life to 4 Katrina evacuees

Here in Houston, we're still picking up after Hurricane Rita which clipped us, helping our neighbors to the east as best we can ... and trading evacuation stories. The best so far was my next-door-neighbor.

He left Houston and like so many got stuck in horrible traffic in 100 degree weather. Being young and healthy, it never occurred to him that he could not drive out of Houston without stopping for water -- even after 10 hours behind the wheel, most of that in blazing heat. He passed out and hit the steering wheel. As he tells the story in his own words, "Four big black guys from New Orleans saw me, jumped in and doused me with water, got me some help." 90 or so people died during the evacuation, most of them from heat-related problems. We have the Katrina guests in Houston to thank that my next-door-neighbor was helped on the spot. As a side note, I can only be amazed what a selfless thing it would be to empty your water bottle under those circumstances ... trapped in 100 degree weather with no way to get more water and no idea how long you'll be stuck.

I've seen some disturbing posts around the blogosphere about what "those people" from New Orleans did, or will do in their new homes. It's a shame. A lot of the New Orleanians are heroes. One of the saddest parts of the New Orleans fiasco has been this: there has been relatively little notice of the thousands of people who did well and helped others and rose to the occasion.

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