Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Good grief

In September of 1989 I was living in Roanoke, VA. Roanoke is not a coastal city... far from it, actually. It is located in the crux of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains in the Southwestern portion of Virginia.

That September we had a hurricane which didn't mind that we didn't live on the coast. Hurricane Hugo made landfall in South Carolina and left 109 people dead and over 100,000 people homeless. In the protected area we lived the winds bent the trampoline at a local sports store around their light post. It flooded our basement and ruined ages of pictures, diaries, irreplaceable items. I remember the smell. I remember sailing my brothers flip-flop across the rising waters in the basement.

In 1993, Hugo was gone. The most recent "pain" story is from February of 1990 by The New York Times and then the talk disappears. People rebuilt, people moved on. In April of 1990, the Chicago Tribune has a story by Mary T. Schmich which says:
"For a while, it looked as if Hugo would turn out to be the hurricane that humbled. Here, it seemed, was the storm that had proved the folly of building on the beach. Here were gutted houses and roofless houses, and mountains of rubble that once were houses. Here were houses tossed to the neighboring golf course or dumped in the nearby creek. Here were houses waterlogged, packed with mud or flat-out gone. But on Pawleys Island north of Charleston, on a warm April day six months after Hurricane Hugo ravaged the South Carolina coast, John Jackson, like most of his neighbors, is rebuilding."
Hurricanes are rough. Heck, rough is too nice a word for what hurricanes are. The only thing tougher is the determination of men to overcome adversity.

Or is it?

Katrina and Ike victims treated differently

Time Running Out for Katrina Trailer Dwellers
-Deadline to Get Out Was Supposed to Be This Weekend

Many Mississippi cities holding elections Tuesday, MS

more and more and more

Now, my question is when do we continue with our lives? When do we move on? When do we rebuild?

Moreover, why should we?

Inasmuch as one might like to blame those who are still living off of FEMA and the American taxpayer some four years later, I think the bigger problem is FEMA and the American taxpayer.

Does anyone else notice the 47 year old living in his mother's garage? At some point, mom has got to stop letting him live there rent free. Stop cooking him 3 squares. Stop doing his laundry. And all the while he's complaining about the A/C. He's walking in during your tv programs and switching the channel. It is time for the eaglet to leave the nest. Fly baby bird, fly! Soar to new heights, have little birdies of your own.

Why am I still hearing sob stories about this on the news? The twin towers weren't covered this much. There are two wars going on and the news doesn't highlight the families of the fallen as much as it does the hardships and travesties of people who lived in the line of a storm.

It was a big storm. I know. It is hard to recover after a storm like that. I'm sure it is. I've dealt with flooding. I've dealt with trees falling on my house during a hurricane. (Thanks to my family for their help during this time, BTW.) I've had major medical trauma. Stroke, Amputation, car accidents, tough financial times. Perhaps you've got it worse. I'm sure many many have had it worse than myself. Life is rough! We've all got travesty. It is what you do after that. Go on with your life. Rebuild. Get out of my news.

(John Pinette - "Chinese Buffet")

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