New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Relief Trip Journal

Random thoughts from the New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Relief Trip

Saturday 2/4/06

Everyone showed up at the church on time so that we were able to leave by 6:00 am sharp.  We left with light snow showers and a temperature of 8F.

Shortly after leaving there was word going around the three vans that we were caravanning in that we had forgotten one of Laurie J’s bags.  So my odd mind immediately goes to the vision from a movie like summer vacation that on the next day, Sunday, people will arrive at church to the show of Laurie’s underwear hanging on the flagpole.  Well needless to say that pretty much started the tone of the trip.  We laughed so much on this trip that I think I gained some new laughing muscles.

Of course we had a few more stop breaks that we would have expected.  There are always more potty breaks than you plan for.

Note:  After we got back from the trip I learned that one of the people from the Church leadership team showed up at 5:00 am to see us off.  Oooooppppsss, I guess we had a slight communication snafu.

For this trip, we decided to take three vans.  Being we have so many large families in our church there are plenty of large (12 plus) passenger vans.  So, we only had to rent one van.  Well one of the vans that was owned by member of our church had an electrical problem while we were in the middle of Iowa.  The alternator was not charging the battery.  This is on a Saturday afternoon in Mount Pleasant Iowa where everything should be closed.  Well, this small town did have a Wal-Mart so we decided to go there and buy a battery so we could keep driving and then charge both batteries at night.  While we were at Wal-Mart, the worker there told us about a friend of his that has a car fixit place that he would be willing to open up for us and replace the alternator.  The guy was able to get the part and install it.  It only took about 45 minutes to make that all happen so we were back on the road and actually back on schedule after that incident.

While the van was getting fixed we were waiting at a local gas station.  In the gas station they had a beer display that was in the shape of a heart.  This was the perfect display for the up coming holiday.  So we thought that it might be fun to get pictures of the display and make a card for our loved ones for Valentines Day.  Maybe with a slogan something like, “When I drink this much beer I think of you.”  More laughter ensued.

For dinner that night we stopped in the town of Sikeston Missouri at a place called Lamperts Café.  The home of the throwed rolls (  This place was a complete hoot.  This is a Minnesota phrase meaning it was a ton of fun.  The place is a large restaurant with a very fun atmosphere.  Of course one of the things they to there is throw your dinner rolls across the room to you.  The food was very southern and remarkably good for how big the place was and for how many people they pour through the place.  Some of the items on the menu were catfish, liver and onions, fried okra, backed sweet potato and friend everything.

We stayed at a motel with a number in the name (eg Super 8) in Sikeston. 

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About waynem

As a Minnesota based photographer and artist I have been greatly influenced by the Upper Midwest. I focus my skills and energies on portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architectural and fine art work. My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture. The result is images that deeply touch people's emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams. My images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary to communicate their shared vision and values. Book and magazine publishers have featured my images on their covers. My photographs also grace and enhance the decor of many fine homes.
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