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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

September 02, 2005

Katrina - A Name I Will Never Forget

I had planned on getting back into the blogging flow today after a hiatus that was forced by work deadlines, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to come back in with such a disaster on our hands. I want to take a moment and get away from golf for a post.

There have been three major tragedies that have hit me hard emotionally. September 11th, the Christmas Tsunami, and now Katrina. While the first two were terrible, there was some closure I could take from each of them. With September 11th we had an enemy that we could focus our anger towards. I really think it helped us to get through those days because we could point at someone and blame them. It was not our fault, and we should all rally behind our leadership and take those bastards down. The Tsunami that struck this past December was tragic as well, but there was still a disconnect. I felt terrible for those affected by the event, but I had never been there, and really did not know anyone who had lost their life or the life of a loved one. Like I said, there was a disconnect by distance, and after the waters receded, so did the thoughts. But Katrina, Katrina is different.

I have made numerous trips to New Orleans for business and have always enjoyed going there. I remember time spent in the French Quarter, at Harrah’s Casino, and countless hours at the Ernest Morial Convention Center. Now, to see the devastation of the city, and the stories coming out of there, I am heartbroken. See, I knew the city. I recognized areas where photos have been taken, and I remember them in a much better light. It hurts a little more when you have a connection to the area.

When it is all said and done, there will be plenty of blame to go around. The federal government will get theirs, as will the state and local governments. To use a sports analogy, it seems like there was a pop up, and three players all surrounded it, but nobody called for it and it dropped to the ground. In baseball you can’t charge three people with the same error, but you can in this case. I think that there was some preparedness in place to assist after the storm passed, and I also believe that those resources were inadequate and quickly inundated. As for the looting, while I consider myself a law-abiding citizen, I would take whatever steps necessary to provide for my family, no questions asked. However, the gang violence, sexual assault, and general lawlessness taking place has no justification in any society, regardless of circumstances.

Finally, while New Orleans is receiving most of the coverage, let us not forget the other areas ravaged in this area. Believe it or not, New Orleans got off lucky as the storm went east of the city sparing it the brunt of Katrina’s severity. Remember those in cities such as Biloxi, MS, Gulf Shores, AL, and all the other cities and small towns that literally do not have a building left standing in their area. These people are just as bad off, if not worse.

When it is all said and done this will be the biggest disaster to strike the United States, natural or otherwise. Some will rebuild and move on with life as best they can. Others will relocate and try to start over. Many will never recover, both financially and emotionally. Events like this are truly double-edged swords. It will bring out the worst in people as we have seen. I will also bring out the best in people as I hope we will see in the days to come.

It is way too early to tell if New Orleans will be able to rebuild (I don’t think so), but regardless of what happens in the months and years to follow, the city I knew will never be there again.

Donation Sites:

American Red Cross

Salvation Army

www.guidestar.org (this site provided a directory of chartitable organizations assisting with Katrina)

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