Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Who's to blame?

We've heard from two former Blacklick Valley residents who were caught in Hurricane Katrina. Rich Dilling, a regular participant in the Nanty Glo List, wrote to the list of his family's experiences, which were mild relative to those in southern Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana:

Initially, we ignored the storm when it first hit Florida. It was only a Cat. 1. It gained much force as it traveled toward the Gulf Coast, but we were unsure of where she would hit for a while.

Early Monday morning, she made her path clear as the Cat. 5 storm headed for the Mississippi coastline. Seeing all the high winds and heavy rains hitting the coast, local schools and businesses began to announce closings. A little after 1:30 p.m., our principal announced that school was cancelled for Tuesday.

The eye of the storm was projected to pass near Tupelo at about 1a.m. on Tuesday morning. All area schools closed. My two older sons were sent home about 6 p.m. from their furniture factory. My wife works in Tupelo at Wal-mart and she initially had agreed to stay a couple of hours past her scheduled time, up to 8 p.m. I had tried to reach her for about 1-1/2 hours, and finally got her. Cell phone signals were low or nonexistent. The store was very busy. I told her I didn't want her to stay late and to leave for home by 6 p.m., or earlier.

Very heavy rains and high winds began about lunch time and were getting worse as the evening hours approached. She got home at about 6:30. All three of my sons were here, and my youngest daughter and her husband were here also. We ended up with about 8 inches of rain and winds maintained 50+, with gusts over 75mph.

The eye passed over us as scheduled, and brought a calmness about 1 a.m. After it passed, the winds picked up again, but were mild compared to Monday afternoon and evening. The last of the winds left after lunch time on Tuesday.

I feel that we were spared a lot of damage. By the time it reached us it had be downgraded to Cat.1, and then became just a tropical storm. Our power went off numerous times, but only stayed off for several minutes at the most. My internet went down and stayed down for a day. A lot of communities around us lost power for many hours and some areas are still without power. We had many branches and debris in our yard. Other homes had whole trees uprooted.


We heard on the list indirectly about a Blacklick Township native, Jim Rummel, whose sister, Trudy Rummel Myers, reported:

...our oldest brother, Jim Rummel and wife Shirley who live in Point Clear, AL lost everything in the hurricane, except for a beautiful patriotic angel I had sent him for a gift last year, that went unharmed. Their spirits are up because they are safe and unharmed, but the house sustained such damage that it was condemned and will be bulldozed over. I have no further info on what their future plans entail.

In socio-political terms, the looting and other crimes that followed the Hurricane, especially in New Orleans, are being discussed and debated, with inevitable comparisons with New York's and Washington's 9/11 attacks and reactions. Most regrettable, I think, is the all-too-human tendency to look for and place blame, with a few on the right blaming the rise of casino gambling in that part of the country in recent years, and the decadence displayed and even revelled in by New Orleans' large homosexual subpopulation. Today I'll survey a few comments illustrating or commenting on the "blame game" that have appeared in this week's media reflections on the catastrophe.

Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden writes:

The vultures of the venomous left are attacking on two fronts, first that the president didn't do what the incompetent mayor of New Orleans and the pouty governor of Louisiana should have done, and didn't, in the early hours after Katrina loosed the deluge on the city that care and good judgment forgot. Ray Nagin, the mayor, ordered a "mandatory" evacuation a day late, but kept the city's 2,000 school buses parked and locked in neat rows when there was still time to take the refugees to higher ground. The bright-yellow buses sit ruined now in four feet of dirty water. Then the governor, Kathleen Blanco, resisted early pleas to declare martial law, and her dithering opened the way for looters, rapists and killers to make New Orleans an unholy hell. Gov. Haley Barbour did not hesitate in neighboring Mississippi, and looters, rapists and killers have not turned the streets of Gulfport and Biloxi into killing fields.

"jhw" writes on

The popular adage, "there are no atheists in the trenches" sums up the truth that in times of disaster it is natural for people to turn to God, for help and also for an explanation. The devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina has brought that reality home to the United States, particularly in the affected regions. Yesterday Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco called for a state-wide day of prayer. "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort," she said. Meanwhile, New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas after witnessing the horrors first hand and hearing talk of Sodom and Gomorrah commented, 'Maybe God's going to cleanse us.

Reuters reports:

al Qaeda-linked Web sites called [it] evidence of the "wrath of God" striking an arrogant America

And from the Associated Press:

with the floodwaters slowly receding, [Harry] Connick[, Jr., a New Orleans native] saw reason for optimism. After the sight of a bar open on Bourbon Street, "I said, 'Man, if this isn't a sign of New Orleans coming back to its former state.'"

What does it all add up to? We'll try to make sense of it on Friday.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

latest additions
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Gallery: Miners Memorial
Valley Videos: 3. Twin Rocks, 2. Miners Memorial, Vintondale, 1. Vintondale strip mine
Century-old Vintondale school photos
NGHS Class of '47, new photo, yearbook page
Looking for a 1943 Nanty Glo High School yearbook

Today's chuckle

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

—Sent by Trudy Myers

Thought for today

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.

Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955)

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
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