Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the Kindness of Strangers

I made my way today to the Quarter Stitch in the French Quarter. There I met the two owners, and a lady whose name I found out later was Mary. Mary (and the owners) had been here when NOLA flooded. Mary chose not to leave, and rode out the storm and the flooding in her two-story house. She helped to save some of her neighbors whose houses had gone completely underwater. She was smart and had stored food and water so that she and her neighbors would have somewhere to go. She is still living in a FEMA trailer, and is slowly refinishing the first floor of her house. She only has the summers to really work, being a catholic school teacher.

We talked for a while, about teaching, and I told her what I've been doing here. She told me about a book, where students from the University of New Orleans went out and interviewed people affected by Katrina, and put some of those anecdotes into a book. I take notes so that I can find and purchase it and she says she's going to go check and see if the bookstore, La Librarie has it. I stay, chatting with the owners, and she returns with the book, for me! She wanted to get it for me as a thank you for all that I'm doing here. I was so touched. Here she is, having gone through hell, and she's thanking me for helping with the cleanup efforts.
I also spent an exorbitant amount on yarn in that shop. I'm all for helping keep these local businesses up and running. They wrap it up like it's your birthday, but the shop owner is a little shy abou thaving her picture taken, so I told her she could hold the package up in front of her face. . . Then shot the picture as she laughed!

1 comment:

ZantiMissKnit said...

I love that store! I've only been there once, and I didn't buy anything at the time, but I still love it. It's not too far from where I used to live (Magazine, between 2nd and 3rd).

I'm going to see if my library has that book. I'd love to read it, but I know I'll cry.