A lawyer friend came to town for a case we’re working on –his first visit since Katrina rearranged the local deck chairs. He was intensely interested in how things are here. I answered his many provocative questions and drove him through Lakeview. His eyes remained wide. Once again I heard the now familiar refrain: “gee, you just can’t get a sense of this from news accounts.” He asked about the recent mayor’s race. I gave a quick recap of how the current mayor got re-elected, and he offered another common refrain: “You know, I gotta tell ‘ya that people from [fill in a city outside Louisiana] can’t figure out what the deal is with your mayor and your govenor. We think they’re both blithering idiots.” Sigh.
We talked about the leadership vacuum, and laughed about crazy notions like bringing back Edwin Edwards (the former governor who’s currently serving jail time). As someone recently quipped while suggesting Edwards would be an effective governor in this situation: “at least he only took 10%, which is more than you can say for a lot of the companies doing the FEMA contracts.” Ah, yes. So much to laugh about and so little inspiration.
This morning my friend and I were sitting at PJ’s Coffee shop by the federal court building getting ready for our conference when who should appear? Yep, hizzoner. C. Ray Nagin, in the flesh. It’s a small coffee shop –not near City Hall– so why would he be there? He was working the crowd so we put our heads down to avoid the political lovefest. Nagin, of course, was his usual affable self.
As he talked to each person they invariably asked him “how’s it going?” Each time he said “it’s going fine blah blah blah.” Okay, we’ll obviously he didn’t say ‘blah blah blah.’ What he said was something like “even though the New York Times is on my case. Did you see that article they came out with yesterday? Man, and then Sally Ann Roberts said…..”
So, there you have it. Things are fine, and Nagin has time to think about what his detractors are saying (not that he plans on doing anything about it). Don’t you feel better about this whole ‘recover, rebuild renew’ thing that we’ve got going on?
BTW, I had the iced Mocha and it was great!