Individual Stories

Name: Kenneth Jefferson
Age: 22
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Construction

“It was fucked up. Cause they could have helped them people way more than they did...babies walking around with no diapers. Mother fuckers shiting in the corners. You got mother fuckers out of jail raping children in there...but really and truly, you can't blame nobody but the people.“




Name: Joshua Walker & Sondra Berry
Age: 63 & 61
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Directors of The Neighborhood Gallery

“Every black person we speak to...many of our white friends - they fear it. Because they too realize the flavor of New Orleans is not just one type of ingredient. It's all of the different ingredients that we put into this gumbo. And if you exclude a portion of it the dish is not going to be the same.“




Name: Yvonne Loiselle
Age: 50
Home: Vancouver, Canada
Occupation: Film Archivist

“I took New Orleans history and Louisiana history classes at UNO and the Levee Board is like almost handed down through your family. And that kind of patronage - that's gotta go.“




Name: Cheryl Gerber
Age: 40
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Photographer

“Watching Brian Williams on Bourbon St., calling it 'a ghost town,' and 'this is where all the Cajuns come to play when they make it big.' I was like 'What?! This is Brian Williams from NBC? Even he got it wrong?!'“




Name: Bob Connolly
Age: 56
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Carpenter

“There was a lot of military [at the airport]. There was - I'd say 50 soldiers - there was almost as many soldiers watching us as there were people in the concourse.“




Name: Jairo Santanilla
Age: 31
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Chief Resident at Charity Hospital

“When I started medicine at LSU my big thing was, '[Charity Hospital is] serving the poor. It's the good hospital. It's fighting the right fight.' But now I think that idealism is used against those who don't have means.“




Name: Joe & Lucianne Carmichael
Age: 78 & 74
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Artists/Educators/Curators

“It's a story that I think elucidates in a very powerful and graphic way the fact that man does not have dominion over nature and when he deludes himself to think that he does that's when these things happen.“




Name: John Pope
Age: 57
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Reporter for The Times-Picayune

“I spent Labor Day at the morgue. It was before any people had been brought in. We were given a look at the morgue before the bodies started coming in.“




Name: Joel Rene Morrissey
Age: 37
Home: New Orleans
Occupation: Chief Resident at Charity Hospital

“Everything that happend at Charity during the storm was a failure...everything bad was a failure of the system. Everything good was a success of individuals.“




Name: Jason Melancon
Age: 30
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: PR Director for LPHI

“Living away from New Orleans is a point of contention for all New Orleanians. You know what I mean? Because they don't want to leave because life here is a very specific thing.“




Name: Julia Breaux
Age: 29
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Customer Account Accociate for Acadiana Ambulances

“[Our insurance adjuster] is completely M.I.A. We haven't seen him since he came out to our house. I talked to his supervisor and he was like, 'Yeah, I haven't talked to him either. I tried e-mailing him and calling his phone - I haven't seen him.'“




Name: Frances Lewis
Age: 56
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Retired

“Had they told us during the hurricane it's a possibility that the levies may break we would have left then even though we didn't have a car. “




Name: Robert Caldwell
Age: 31
Home: Bywater
Occupation: Community Organizer

“I think the potential is there for grassroots groups to actually come together, for new relationships to be formed and for communities to be able to build a stronger say about what their needs are.“




Name: Captain Mathew Mecham
Age: N/A
Home: Tacoma, WA
Occupation: National Guard Captain

“The thing that probably hits us more at home are the expressions on peoples faces when they see their houses and the condition there in and you start realizing that could be me.“




Name: Melvin Smith
Age: 49
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Retired

“I had to deal with a dead body that floated and got caught in my fence. For three days he was just there and the Coast Guard came and left him another day.“




Name: Norma Lombard
Age: 43
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: N/A

“They're hopeful that the city can get back to what it used to be but I think it's going to be a while.“




Name: Leo McGovern
Age: 26
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Publisher, Antigravity Magazine

“My attitude towards it is that you can't be one of those people who are going to leave and say, 'well, build it up nice for me for when I come back,' and they come back in two years. That shit ain't going to fly.“




Name: Sam Edwards
Age: 50
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: N/A

“He said, 'Get your hands up. If you move, I'll kill you.'“




Name: Wayne Gonsoulin
Age: 28
Home: Metairie, LA
Occupation: N/A

“The doctor was bagging this baby while we were picking this thing up going through a maze of stairwells to the helicopter where they put the machine on the helicopter with a nurse to keep it alive.“




Name: Jeffrey Holmes
Age: 40
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Writer / Gallery Owner

“We have a friend of ours who was born and raised in New Orleans and she remembers, she's 43 years old, and she said she was 7 years old at the time and there was a swimming pool. There was a swimming pool uptown that was whites only.“




Name: Andrea Garland
Age: 34
Home: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Graphic Artist

“None of the residents of the French Quarter could go eat there. This was all for the outside people. No Red Cross. No nothing. No one taking care of the people inside of the city.“




Name: Bill Moore and John Clancy
Age: N/A
Home: Topeka, KS
Occupation: Teamsters

“It's a security issue. They were having some issues with the police and we were able to help out.“




Name: Rob Savoye
Age: 47
Home: Rural Colorado
Occupation: EMT

“Well, if Shelia told me, as a pagan, that I'd be hanging out with a bunch of fundamentalists Christians and loving it, I'd have told her she was crazy too.“




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Announcements

The I-10 Witness continues to interview New Orleans residents about their storm related experiences. In conjunction with Xavier University's Department of Communications, we recently completed several rounds of interviews at St. Dominic's Church in Lakeview, Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in New Orleans East and the Uptown Shepard's Center. This week we will also continue to collect stories in Gert Town. Last month, we we're proud to collaborate with Mourning Line Productions and the 78th Street Theater in Manhattan, NY for our first public installation of these narratives. The show was seen by several New Yorkers who continue to visit our website. It is our hope that these types of events can keep this story alive in the hearts and minds of people throughout this country. As always, if you or anyone you know is interested in recording their story or helping to gather stories please contact us through the site as we would be happy to meet with you at your convenience.