- Posted October 2, 2013 by
New Orleans, Louisiana
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Still Rebuilding New Orleans
These catchphrases are still being promoted in the Crescent City, long after Katrina and the devastating floods washed over the Gulf coast.
This summer, I worked side by side with a bunch of teenagers—yes, teenagers—to rebuild an elderly gentleman’s house that has stood empty for all eight years. Last summer the crew put on a new roof, saving the rest of the structure. This summer, we worked with other teams to replace floors and put up new drywall and siding.
The heat and humidity were challenging, to say the least. We taught the teens how to cut and hang drywall inside and siding outside. We worked like sweaty old men to finish the bathrooms, kitchen and a bedroom, as well as half the siding outside. We kept the radio tuned to WWOZ to hear great local music all day, and during water breaks we danced in the dust to that irresistible New Orleans beat.
In the evening, we took the kids out into the local community and tried to help them see some of the greatness of New Orleans. We got snowballs at a nearby stand, and chatted with local guys playing and singing on the walkway by the Mississippi River. Great conversations erupted naturally on the Algiers Ferry. My favorite meal was from Johnny’s Poboys, famous for their huge, delicious…sandwiches is really an understatement. The kids ordered chicken and shrimp, but we got some extra oyster and alligator poboys too, just to lead them out of their comfort zones. God bless the guys in the brass band who are always set up in the corner of Jackson Square. Their festive music set the perfect stage for our picnic in the square.
I’ve spent many years enjoying the music, food, history, art, literature and culture of this fine city—America’s First City, in so many ways. I’m so grateful to these kids for providing the opportunity for me to give something back.