Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Remember the Smith Plantation Tour Guide

We met the sweetest tour guide at Smith Plantation. She was one of the unfortunate natives of New Orleans who was forced to evacuate and relocate to the state of Georgia. This lady's home was near Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans so when the levees broke after Hurricane Katrina hit the water rose to the twelve foot level in her home and stayed like that for over two months. Naturally everything she had was ruined including an antique melodian? (small organ) that she had had insured for $35,0000 on a separate insurance rider. Well, she got nothing from the insurance company because they claimed that the insurance coverage was only for water damage from the roof down not from water rising up from the ground from the broken levees. She pointed this out to us as she showed us in one room of the house a melodian that was not as old and not as valuable as hers has been. She said that she had place valuables on top of tables and covered them with antique quilts but the water rose so fast and so high that everything downstairs was under water and everything upstairs was ruined by mildew. And then to make a very bad situation worse her home was broken into and ransacked three times during this two month period. Looters took architectural elements, doorknobs, chandeliers, etc. What a nightmare for this woman! In this woman's opinion, New Orleans will never return to its former days of glory. It will be like a modern day Pompeii---a city lost to the elements. In comparison she noted that Atlanta recovered rather quickly from General Sherman's destroy and burn policy as he marched across Georgia from Atlanta to the sea. She told us that she is now recovering her life in Atlanta and will never return to New Orleans. So sad. But what a show of fortitude and perseverance.
I just had to blog about her. And this was her advice for everyone: read the fine print of all your insurance policies. What you think may be covered may not actually be covered even though you are paying dearly for insurance. And quite naturally she does not have a high opinion of President Bush and his slow reaction to this disaster. Oh, and I also learned this from her talk. She told us that General Sherman took 600 women from around Roswell, GA as prisoners of war and had them put in a prisoner of war camp in the state of Kentucky. This tour guide like the tour guides at the other two antebellum halls did not have a good opinion of "that ruthless Sherman" and they all used the expression "The War of Northern Agression" when refering to the Civil War. And they all spit out the word yankees. I didn't dare comment that I was born a yankee in Ohio.


Anonymous said...

Bitterness still pervades thinking all over the world. If not the Civil War then some other tragic event like Katrina. Bush is a real jerk in my book. Both he and the countless generals who occupy the pentagon did not know how to get water to the people in desperate need of water in New Orleans. That also says something about them as leaders.

I have very low opinions of politicians and rank them way below used car salesmen.

I do feel sorry for the people of New Orleans because their loss could have been prevented to some extent with a better warning system.

Anyway, I am a Yankee and also a Rebel and it depends on which side of the family I am on at the moment.

Jenn K said...

How incredibly sad. And it's incredible how the insurance company wouldn't honor her contract because of a loophole in the wording. It is truly anger-inducing.