‘Welcome to the third world – maybe fourth’ | VailDaily.com

‘Welcome to the third world – maybe fourth’

Steve Katz
Special to the DailyThe water in the Katzes living room rose almost to the ceiling, leaving behind mold and other damage.

NEW ORLEANS – My third trip back to New Orleans was depressing – like the others but for a different reason; no, for two different reasons: Southwest Louisiana is likewise decimated from Rita. That will compromise some of the rebuilding efforts at the expense of New Orleans.

More important is the time it will take to start rebuilding. Time is the enemy, and everything is slow. To build an economy, it takes land, labor and capital. The land will be reinforced, capital will come from the government, and insurance companies will be active, but who will provide labor, both skilled and unskilled? That is clearly the problem at my company, Katz Factoring!A business and professional infrastructure that accommodates a metro area of about 1.25 million will be scaled down. The bet, the limit and the pot are downsized. The surrounding areas are overloaded. Restaurants are jammed, as is the traffic because everyone evacuated with their cars and not their kitchens.The story that says it all is of me pulling down a tree branch. After two good tugs I pulled the branch into my eye resulting a Little Rascals shiner. I worked the rest of the day at the house and returned to our friend Sue and Harold’s house.

Sue was a nurse who took a look at my eye and asked what happened. I told her and her natural response was “Did you wash it?” I looked at her and with knee jerk reaction answered “With what? We don’t have any water. Welcome to the third world – maybe fourth.”One happy story is we “rescued” Moe, who is uncertified but effective as a seeing eye dog for my friends, Carlton and Lizzie Crosby. They are both blind and have five kids. Moe is a big help to them and the family was split up in Katrina and then reunited in Houston without Moe.They were then evacuated for Rita to a hotel room somewhere between Houston and Austin which is where they remain. Meanwhile Moe was found in a pack, Carlton informed, and he called me.

Moe will be reunited with his family soon. They should be in a new home in Texas sometime this month and I am working with “pet rescue” regarding Moe’s transportation.We head for New Orleans – trip four – this weekend. We plan to do a few days volunteering at pet rescue, see some family and then be able to cut back on the traveling back and forth. Vail, Colorado

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