Week Fifteen | Convent-Lutcher, LA to New Orleans, LA: the next 100 miles

1pm, Thursday, October 22, 2020

Convent, Lutcher, Reserve, Garyville, Norco, Kenner, New Orleans

LANDSCAPE | The Mississippi River doesn’t end at New Orleans

On the shores of the Gulf of Mexico sits the Crescent City . . . or does it? Journey another 100 miles south through Plaquemine’s Parish to find out.

COMMUNITY | Emergency Response

Disasters happen everywhere, but emergencies happen on the Gulf Coast. It’s there we encountered a community of emergency responders set into action by Tropical Storm Olga.

VOICE | Gregory Carroll

District 1 Councilman and fifth generation resident of Kenner, Louisiana as well as Director of Inmate Programs for the City of New Orleans. Voice gathered on the morning of October 26, 2019 at Heritage Hall.

VOICE | Steven Perrilloux

Pastor and proprietor of Historic Riverlands Plantation & Soul River Music History Tour. Voice gathered on the afternoon of October 23, 2019 in the sanctuary of the former Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Reserve, Louisiana.

VOICE | Angela Chalk

Founder of Healthy Community Services and sixth generation resident of the Seventh Ward where she is working to build environmental awareness and engagement. Voice gathered on the afternoon of October 23, 2019 at Angela’s home in the Seventh Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This stretch of Louisiana, through the River Parishes, into Kenner and New Orleans, was filled with strong memories for us as we sifted back through the archive, remembering the weather getting cooler, the rain moving in, and not only the rain, but the storms—including Tropical Storm Olga during our first night in Kenner. Fortunately we were housed in the Emergency Operations Center, so safe from it all we barely heard the wind blowing, but we saw the damages and devastation the next day. These memories echo today in the wake of new storms hitting even closer to home.

We had a wonderful group come together this week to explore those moments and the themes they stimulated in us, such as “Emergency Response” along the river and the sheer fact that the river just doesn’t end in New Orleans like so many people seem to think! There’s still another 100 river miles to go. So we journeyed down those miles amongst other things with the help of friends and collaborators from Reserve: Rita Perrilloux and Sylvia Clayton, from Kenner: Gregory Carroll, Carolyn Barrett, and Candace Watkins, from Destrehan: Tracy Smith, from all around the River Parishes: Willma Harvey, from New Orleans: Jeff Carver and Angela Chalk, and from Plaquemines Parish: James Madere. Such a great coming together.

As I mentioned, just 100 more miles to go down the river, so join us next week for the final leg — AND join us on November 5th for a culminating discussion, a “one river” conversation. Register here for both.