My second day of walk around was a bit more cheery than the first. Ran into a Lutheran Church group doing volunteer work. 30 thousand of them are in town from around the country.
Just north of Bradville I talked to a lady sitting on her porch. Miss Thelma Collins. She moved away after the flood, then came back to rebuild.
She had the funds to do so. The new house cost 155K. Very happy to be back after 2 years away, Mississippi, California and Tennessee, she liked Tennessee the best. She offered me some water as she told her story. When she came back there were still houses in the streets, pushed off their foundations by the tidal wave. She found her car blocks away. She said she lost everything. The hardest thing now is getting around. There isn’t bus service yet in the neighborhood. She does feel safe though. She has lived here for 27 years. Her biggest gripe is that no one cuts the weeds growing in the empty lots.
On my way back to the bus stop, the 88 bus runs down St. Claude, I stopped in a new store to buy a soda. The owner mentioned that business was hard to come by. I mentioned Miss Thelma who did not have a car. I suggested he start a mobile store. Just pass out some flyers letting folks know he was open for biz, and that he would be at certain corners at scheduled times so that people could just come out to his truck. He liked the idea. His name is Major. There are maybe, a dozen places in the 9th Ward open for business. These folks need it all. If you are thinking about starting a business, the 9th Ward is fertile ground.