The owner of the grocery store in question called me yesterday evening. He got my letter. I’ll call him Paul, because that’s his name. He told me his story, and as predicted, it was a sad one.
Paul lost his job after the storm, and then he got real sick, and he now has no income, and his car isn’t in good enough shape to make it to New Orleans, so he hasn’t even seen the grocery since the flood, and he was shocked — shocked — to learn of its condition.
I asked, “So where are you living these days?”
The answer: Metairie.
Hmmm… That would be approximately eight miles away. And it’s been a year. Hmmm…
I’ll confess I’m a tad skeptical, but who knows? It’s been a very rough year for all of us. He said that he was very concerned and that he will get the place cleaned up as soon as possible.
I offered to give him a ride to survey the property. I also repeated the offer (from the letter I sent) to organize a crew of volunteers if he needed it. He didn’t take me up on either offer.
The next thing to worry about is whether he actually makes good on his promise, and if so that the cleanup could actually make things worse. If they pile that gunk out on the curb it will be truly horrific. Frankly, the place is in such sad shape I wonder if wholesale demolition isn’t a better option.