Tis the season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There is football season, holiday season and even hunting season. However, the one season that could have the greatest impact on our region is just getting started – Hurricane Season, and it begins Friday! Unfortunately, the season got off to an early start with two storms already being named prior to the official start date.

This year will make seven years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita slammed against the coast of south Louisiana, and it also makes four years since Hurricanes Gustav and Ike knocked us down once again with a double whammy in a single season.

Those four storms represent different things to many people. There are some areas that experienced a tremendous boom following the storms as residents fled to higher ground in search of a safe future. Still others see the storms as the moment when an elderly family member lost valuable and precious years to despair and stress or a child lost important growing years to rebuilding and sacrifice.

However, despite the changes and heartaches experienced by all of those living along the coast of Louisiana during the turbulent years, there have been tremendously positive changes to our way of life that needed to happen long before the storms hit our coast. Our preparedness for the next storm is much improved. Underserved populations have systems in place to help them evacuate and survive. The education system in New Orleans is marching toward improvement, and local infrastructure was rebuilt completely.

Nevertheless, we must always prepare for the next one as if it might be the worst yet. This preparation, and an ability to bounce back after a storm, is what has made our region a powerhouse of resiliency and economic might. If we moved away every time a storm decimated our area we wouldn’t have the largest port system in the nation, our seafood would not be harvested, and the nation’s supply of oil and gas would be greatly diminished. If we didn’t rebuild the city of New Orleans after each hurricane the world would not know the music of Louis Armstrong, the taste of a fresh po-boy as it breaks apart with each bite, and the flavor of life found only in the laughter of South Louisiana citizens.

It’s that flavor and love of life that makes us rebuild our precious — yet eroding — landscape time and time again. We are what our forefathers dreamed of and we must therefore continue to prosper against all odds in a land worn by storms, built by love and protected by levees.

The last bite…

The other day I had an Irish Car Bomb. No, this doesn’t involve explosives or cars. It is a drink that is made of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Guinness Beer. I don’t do beer. I don’t do Bailey’s. However, I did the Irish Car Bomb and did not enjoy it at all because the flavor Bailey’s wasn’t enough to cover the taste of the strong bitter beer. The only thing that helped the situation was that the pair of Canadian tourists who bought the drink for me and enjoyed laughing at the faces I made at every gulp. I give Irish Car Bombs 1 out of 5 crumbs.

Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.