in the heart of Georgia


in the heart of Georgia

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My husband and I will be in Atlanta this weekend and we are wondering if there are any theatre or concert activities going on Saturday night that we could attend? 

Any suggestions would be appreciated! Sounds like it is going to be nice and warm there this weekend. In the 70's. Wow!

We are in Idaho and it has been chilly, in the 40's & 50's. Even supposed to be an inch of snow tonight. Our commute to the airport may be slow in the morning.

Thanks for your help!
We had a great time! Stayed at the Best Western downtown and walked all over the place. Were invited into Ray's In the City for a wonderful seafood dinner (free on the house due to a special training they were doing prior to their grand opening!), thoroughly enjoyed a tour through CNN, the fountain display in the park, etc. It was a fun weekend. Atlanta's a nice city to visit for sure. contributed by Jeanne 


immigration cartoon

Immigration Cartooncontributed by Todd Walker

I'd like to let the people of Atlanta know that I visited there in April for
a funeral, but still had the time to sight see and enjoy I'd have to say
visiting the most beautiful city I've ever been in.

I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but my husband is from Atlanta, and I've
promised him that I would look into moving there upon my sons graduation from
high school. It's still some time away but I plan on looking into the
housing, employment, civic, and other community areas.

I just found that for this to be a metropolitan city it was so clean
especially your downtown area. I was definitely impressed and hope to return
this summer for a visit.

Again you have a wonderfully beautiful city.

Letters from after the Storm
Mississippi Coast still suffers.  Rebuilding has begun.


Well, in the past two weeks or so cable restarted, potable water was back, FEMA put on my blue roof (the $500 temp fix for the roof was failing) and I was able to go see a movie. For those of us with jobs and relatively intact houses, things are returning to normal, a new normal but still normal. But as the losses sink in more people seem less dazed and more depressed and irritable. Some of it, I think, is survivor guilt for those of us that still have homes and jobs.

We went to Bay St. Louis and Waveland last week. So little left of either. It was like you would expect just days after the storm. People seeking services in large, crowded, parking lots, looking tired, sweaty and disheveled. I understand many are living in tents. Very sad.

Sunday we drove to the Biloxi side of the Ocean Springs bridge and looked around Point Cadet. Much of it, blocks and blocks and blocks of residential areas, looked like it had been bulldozed and the ruble carted away. 

Then we were able to get onto highway 90 near Beau Rivage in Biloxi and drove to almost Long Beach a total of about 12 miles. Many areas I had no idea what had been there, not enough clues, just low rubble. Sometimes this was just a few hundred feet inland, sometimes for several blocks. Just ruble. Some areas were lucky, the ruble seemed to create a dam that may not have prevented water from advancing but provided relief from the force of the waves which allowed to structures behind the damn of rubble to remain standing. Other than high rise structures and Edgewater Mall, I saw only a handful of salvageable buildings. Further on down Highway 90 will be worse due to the lower elevations. Example Pass Christian's maximum elevation is 28 feet and they had 4 feet of water at that point.

Before the Storm I spent a lot time driving around and exploring the area, looking at different kinds of homes and different communities. Looking for a new place to live. Some homes particularly beach front homes were obviously too risky (and too expensive) to purchase because of the potential for hurricane surges. Some areas were less risky, others seem even safer. Of all the homes that I wanted, considered or coveted, only one remained above water and relatively intact.

The trees are coming back pretty well. Though the ones that got the most salt water or were damaged are doing less well and some look like they will not make it. Three hundred-year-old trees, gone. Also some MDOT employee with a bulldozer uprooted about 3 miles of 100+ year Live Oak trees along the beach because he couldn't understand directions.

Traffic has improved a little with the reopening of two additional lanes of the north-south I-110. Another north-south bridge, Popp's Ferry should be open in about 90 days. A new contract was or is about to be let that mandates 24 hour a day work on the bridge until its finished. The two major east-west highway 90 bridges will be completely revamped into high rises and will take 18-24 months to complete. Ferries have been mentioned to assist in the mean time.

I saw in the paper that that only two antebellum homes still exist on the coast, one being the Jefferson Davis home, just around the corner from where I live. Again great losses here.



10/15/2005  Bruce,  I don't understand about the roof.  Did FEMA give you a blue drop cloth for your roof?  I thought the temp fix was blue?  Please explain.  Peg


Last update for a while and I apologize for the mass mailing. I've answered emails here and there and can't remember who emailed.

I worked the Sunday night at the hospital prior to the hurricane and didn't get home until Tuesday night. The house was in remarkably good condition with only minor shingle damage. Though the house did come within 6 inches or so of possibly flooding it seems.

Its now two weeks since the hurricane and the roof has temporary patches, I have (boil 1st) water, power, A/C, rabbit ears antenna TV. My area has Winn Dixie grocery store, Walmart, Burger King, a couple banks, Back Yard Burgers, Check Advance place and more stores seem to open every day. The hours for most stores are usually 8 or 10 AM to 5 PM. There is a curfew (8PM - 6AM). They make people line up and allow only certain number of people in stores at a time. I bought gasoline a couple days ago for $2.46 and didn't wait in line.

A roving band of chain saw bearing Christians from out of state came through my neighborhood this week and helped clean up lawns and cut up toppled trees. They were very nice people and the street looks great, unlike many of the neighborhoods in the area that still have mounds of tree debris stacked high on the curb.

There is more and more traffic and they keep adding traffic lights, maybe 6 or 8 now for the 9 miles to Gulfport from my house. If traffic lights are missing, it's deemed a 4 way stop. The two major east west bridges on highway 90 (the beach highway) are out and will likely take at least 18 months to replace. Same with a couple north - south bridges. They hope to get the casino barges off highway 90 in about three weeks and open up two of the four lanes to traffic. I believe the train bridges are gone also.

I understand that Biloxi lost about 5,000 structures or about 20% of total structures, including many historical buildings. I heard the mayor of Waveland on TV, he said there were 25 familles in Waveland now and before there were 8,000 people. Seventy percent of Pass Christian (everything west of a certain street) was declared as unsalvageable and they were concentrating on saving the other 30%.

Though the hotel for the Beau Rivage casino seemed to weather the storm well, the bottom two floors including the main lobby floor washed through and will need to be totally redone.
Depending on who you listen to, there are about 14,000 casino jobs on the coast and about 2 additional jobs off site for every casino worker. Almost all of those jobs are gone for the time being. 

I saw on the local TV station, WLOX, that a video production team filmed the gulf coast for 48 hours before the storm so they would have a good set of "before" shots for their planned Katrina Devastation video. 

The local government and the power companies have been wonderful. We had 9,000 people from everywhere including Canada helping with the power. 

The phone company hasn't endeared itself to the locals by telling people like my Aunt that it will be sometime in early November before they can repair her phone line that's on the ground. I wonder how many people will buy cell phones and just go 100% wireless once they get used to having to do without a landline.

Biloxi had purchased loss of revenue insurance so we have a 6 month reprieve in that area but not sure what we will do when that runs out as it was explained that it might take 9 months to even set up temporary casinos.

On TV I've hear two different military men say they have seen war and this is much worse. It's really hard to explain the feeling of finding out or just realizing that a familiar sight or landmark is gone for ever. It's like something was stolen or taken away from you. And you realize that there are a 1,000 sights and things that are no longer a part of your daily visual life. So much has been destroyed that the every character of the area will be differnt and I wonder what the new place will be like. Will it still be home? Will I want to live here?

But such thoughts of "just things" pale when you see photographs of blocks and blocks of empty home foundations, making you realize how devastating this has been for so many people. As you look at the homes smashed against each other you hope and hope that people left before the storm arrived. But you know many didn't. Of the those that didn't leave, some were lucky, some were not.

All in all I came out quite well. The house is OK. I still have my job. All my friends/family members seemed to have made it with at least their lives (a couple homes were lost). So, for me its been just really inconvenient and stressful, but also troubling when you see people you know that lost family/friends or homes or jobs or all three.



Yes, Bruce, I know how those emails can pile up.  It is especially hard to reply to everyone if you don't have a good answer yet.  Glad to hear your family and friends were safe--mine, too, were safe.  It is amazing to me that so many people have been able to take so much inconvenience in such a short period of time and still be able to lift their heads up and smile.  

The phone companies were and still are amazing in times of disaster as are all the utility worker-men and worker-women.  

Potable water is water safe for drinking.

To guard against disease in the US, the easiest way to get potable water is to be boiled for 15 mins before drinking.  For example, if you have electricity and a hot water heater, you could start with water that is already hot, then turn off the intake water and drink as much as you could hold, then  and it would be drinkable right out of the faucet...but once you use some water out of the faucet you would need to turn the in=valve back on, add more water, wait at least another 15 mins once needed water is added for the whole concoction to be potable again.

Or, forget the water, make a pot of tea from the kettle that has been brought up to a boil and steaming for 15 mins and viola you have potable TEA.  Add a little sugar from C&H Sugar in California and Hawaii for the kids or some SPLENDA or NUTRASWEET from GENERAL FOODS or whoever from whereever? if you are still watching that waistline or bloodsugar level.

If you don't have a kettle and you can get a small pan that will do.  You may even be able to make it boil with the flame from one or two candles, depending on how large the amount of water is==say a child's small metal cup or a "playset" pot.  Large enough for a little refreshment with cookies or bread.



Just because you were wronged as a girl and just because you have lots of money does not give you the right to take the law into your own hands.  It's just like the "clannishness"  of the "Old South."     

I recently heard that Oprah was going after all the sex offenders that got loose during the storm.  We all live with the imperfections of others, we all deserve a second chance when God gives it to us.  Let us not spend our time and money on a personal vendetta that could possibly cause more harm than good.  Let us let the good people who have learned their lessons be given peace to live anew.  It is my understanding that this great Nation was based on the principles of the New Testament and not just the Old and that "an eye for an eye" is the old way of thinking whereas "forgive and let live" is the NT way of thinking.  qed? quid pro quo? et. al. 

Note:  I believe there is GOOD in all people, even the "Big Bad Wolf Is Good" now, according to Puttock and Chapman.  I believe that given the right training and environment, all men can be made to do right--cc Martha Stuart circa 2004.  We in this country believe that you pay for your crimes when convicted by your peers, and that is the end of it.  Yes, so maybe we should be extra careful with our children these days but then shouldn't we always be extra careful with our children?  Should we also register convicted tax evaders and, in fact, convicted anything ad nauseum.  NO,  let the time match the crime but don't forget to forgive and forget when three strikes haven't made an OUTlaw of the person.  Let's not go back to the days of the bounty hunters.

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