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Welcome to the Austin Kos Live Blog of the New Orleans Survivors Gunbo and Jambalaya Friday Evening Gathering from Othniel's Digs.
About Twenty Folk who recently relocated to the Austin Convention Center from New Orleans are gathered with the Austin Kos group for Gumbo and Jambalaya prepared by Karry, a chef at Pascal Manales restaurant in New Orleans, using pots borrowed from Wink, a local Austin Resturant. He started cooking yesterday so that we could enjoy this feast tonight, complete with pound cake for dessert.

We're going to take turns saying a few words...

When invited to comment, Karry said, "Nawwwww."

I'm Jan.  I just ate some great cooking!  You shoulda been here!

Roderick (9 years old) says:
how are y'all doing?

My name is Lawrence. I'm 18 years old, and I had fun at the Gumbo Bash.

Well I'm Karyn and it has been a pleasure to be invited to such a shin dig! If the people here at this small gathering of friends represent the great state of Texas then it's as awesome as I imagined it would be.

Orlando who is 17 years old "says I want to play in the NFL!"

My name is Angie I am grateful for the gumbo and jambalaya and the kindness of all the People in Austin Texas I really miss home but I am grateful that I am here with my family

Edwima says just be thankful and grateful.

Veronica (78) says, "I want to thank all of you people for being so nice, and it's so truly appreciated. I haven't laughed or smiled in a couple of weeks as I have here tonight. I had a wish for gumbo and it came true! It was delicious! And so was the jambalaya."

Troy says, "Like the tree in front of my house in New Orleans, I bent but I didn't break. And I'm being propped up by the people of Austin. And I will bear fruit again."

Ari says, "The city of Austin is so nice out here. I give my blessing to them for helping our people out when we didn't have anything. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I love them. And I'll always keep them in my prayers."

When the Saints Go Marching In has followed Louis Armstrong's rendition of Down By The Riverside on the Sound system - "Ain't Gonna Study War No More."

This is Refinish69(Steve). Tonight was one of the best nights I have spent in years. I brought in my collection of teddy bears and collector Barbie dolls and watched the women of all ages smile from ear to ear as they selected babies to take with them and keep as keep sakes. The food was fabulous and the friends I made tonight will be friends for years. It is a fabulous feeling to see the survivors expressing their feelings, laughing, talking and even expressing anger at the situation. I feel blessed to have met these wonderful people. Tonight I feel the healing may have begun for some of my new friends.

This is roses. Oh, what a night! Truly the best gumbo and jambalaya I've ever had. Hard to describe all the emotions I feel. I'm just glad that these wonderful people that I've met from New Orleans are here with us and safe.

Ruffin of New Orleans says Good Night, Sleep Tight.

Originally posted to Othniel on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:08 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This little portrait... (4.00)
    is the very essence of great writing.

    I hope you write fiction, because a voice like yours deserves the widest possible audience.

    Thank you for giving this to us.

    •  And it was so very real (4.00)
      These Survivors are amazing.  Karry even cleaned up, and went with me to return the borrowed pots to WInk, where he discussed the finer points of roux with the Austin Chef in a language I could barely follow.

      Escorting Veronica back into the convention center, grasping a hand knitted sweater roses had brought for her to keep the chill of the center's air conditiotioning off of her, and turning her over to yet another volunteer to be tucked in - after she personally delivered a container of gumbo to her friend LaVerne who had been unable to attend.

      Every now and then we have to turn off the computer and deal with the people.

      God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

      by Othniel on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No fiction (4.00)
    could match such truths as beautiful as these.  Thank-you.  Recommended.

    It's no crime to be poor, but they're working on it.

    by jazzmaniac on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:13:28 PM PDT

  •  Bless you all (4.00)
    The Austin chapter is showing the people of Kos in the best light possible.  What a terrific idea to bring together some survivors and have real New Orleans food.

    By the way, I've often eaten barbequed shrimp at Pascal's Manale, and I plan to do so again.

  •  That's a beautiful diary, friend. (4.00)
    A real gift... just when we need one.

    Pretzels for the Preznit! Send a bag of your favorite pretzels to the President and tell him to eat a giant handful all at once!

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:22:24 PM PDT

  •  You guys rock (4.00)
    It's the mundane miracles, the small acts of kindness, reaching out and holding one childs hand, that truly make the difference.

    I'm so grateful for this post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  •  hi y'all! (4.00)
    wish i could be there with y'all in austin.  maybe before too long.  missin' me some good gumbo.

    if ya get to missin bourbon street, you might head on over to sixth street there in austin and watch the nocturnal wildlife.  not quite the quarter, but it's close! (drunk white college kids, that is)  don't know if you can find any good beignets in austin, though.  maybe you can teach somebody.

    god bless you all.

    we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
    — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

    by zeke L on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:28:41 PM PDT

    •  Sixth Street is Bourbon Street for now (4.00)
      Returnign to the Convention Cneter with Veronica, Angie, Roderick, Corey, Orlando and Lawrence, and Veronica says, "It is the French Quarter."

      Orlando gapes at the girls, and Lawrence says he is gonna be a player.

      Roderick and Corey find the motorcycles simply awesome, and endure being corrected by Orlando when they misidentify an '04 Mustang as an '05 one.

      Orlando holds the football the four youngsters tossed about while hanging outside during the Bash.

      Everyone is laughing, remembering, and moving forward.  Corey holds the school supplies he garnered at the gathering.  Veronica talks of past Mardi Gras in which her children marched in the bands. She enjoys the sight of the Texas Capitol lit up for the night, and Orlando asks if the statue on top of the dome is a replica of the Staute of Liberty, whose torch somehow is calling to him in all of his seventeen years of wisdom tonight.

      I return home and Ruffin insists I come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and stay with him - and bring my son who left the gathering for an Austin concert too early to post on the live blog.

      Music, Gumbo and the rhytum of life.

      God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

      by Othniel on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:44:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When Y'all go marching back in..... (none) New Orleans, oh lord, I want to be in that number! We expect to hear a report on Monday about red beans and RICE!

    "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

    by Bensdad on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 10:53:32 PM PDT

  •  How good to hear from you. (4.00)
    We're hungering for news (understatement of the year).

    Please stay in touch and hug each other.  From coast to coast and border to border we are fighting to get you all back to New Orleans.

    Meantime, if you need us, we've got the light on for ya.

    In Minnesota, in tears....

  •  is this for real (none)
    and not a fictional effort by a blog denizen seeking attention?

    I truly hope it's for real, because I burst into tears when I read it, because I was so happy.

    To you survivors: as someone who has been to New Orleans many times and knows that the place is not just Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, but a great enveloping warmth of love and hospitality, I say that this is our chance to return that kindness to you.

    If you'd like to come and stay with us for a while in New Hampshire, you're welcome!  Just let me know - hrh (at)

    Austin is a very nice place too!  Best margaritas I've ever had in my life.  And amazing music.

    New Orleans will never die

    by hrh on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 11:34:35 PM PDT

    •  Oh, it's for real (4.00)
      And I have pictures to prove it.

      Othniel saying "grace"
      Image hosted by

      And this boy:

      Image hosted by

      Says, "hey, whatcha got there?"  So I show him my camera and he says, "Can I take a picture?"
      Well, well... hmmm...  if you don't know me and my camera, this is a ... expensive... complicated... ahh... I'd rather eat raw maggots than let somebody else mess with my camera.  But I know this kid a little bit, and he's pretty sharp, and... why the hell not?  I give him 30 seconds of instruction, what button to push for shutter, zoom, view, and hand it over.  I'm hovering like a mother hen, my hands cupped under his, to catch the camera if he drops it.  He points it at me, frames it, zooms the lens where he wants it, and takes this photo of me:

      Image hosted by

      And THEN he remembers which buttons to push to display the photo, on the LCD, of what he's just taken, and he shows it to me.  I let him take several more.

      This is his friend - photo by Roderick

      Image hosted by

      And, hrh, "a fictional effort by a blog denizen seeking attention?"...  Bite your tongue.

      The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions. -Robert Lynd

      by adastra on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 07:35:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More proof (none)
        Photo by me

        Image hosted by

        These photos can only show a small part of the people there, at any one time.  There was an idea floated to get a group photo, but that would have been like herding cats.

        The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions. -Robert Lynd

        by adastra on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 09:23:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  awww (none)
    What a great idea!  I hope this idea is repeated around the country.  This might actually be an idea for fundraisers to help the hurricane victims.
  •  Fantastic Diary - Recommended (4.00)
    I wish I didn't work so late darn it!  I would have loved to attend.  Sounds like ya'll had a really good time.  I hope as other people are saying, that this idea spreads and brings a little bit of home and lots of donations to the people who've lost everything.

    Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore; They're already overcrowded from Your dirty little war. - John Prine

    by Laura D on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 01:03:14 AM PDT

  •  Othneil (4.00)
    is someone who understands that the verb 'minister' is something other than preaching and scolding. Dad duties kept me from the celebration, but just reading the diary is healing. A big virtual hug to you, my friend.

    It could be worse. msaroff could still be living in Texas.

    by George on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 08:20:44 AM PDT

    •  Othniel (none)
      I've known him, in real time and in person, for awhile now, and the guy is great. I know that he doesn't do what he does for any thought of short term gratification or heaven forbid, publicity, but he's got to be be racking up big points somewhere.  BTW - He's now a regional director for Barbara Ann Radnofsky's campaign to get get her elected as a Democrat Senator from Texas.  BAR is up against Kay Bailey Hutchinson, one of the Texas voter's worst mistakes (sound familiar?).

      The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions. -Robert Lynd

      by adastra on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 09:47:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just for the record (4.00)
        He's the state field director for Radnofsky and one of his new friends from New Orleans, Troy Alvis, has agreed to join the campaign as Deputy Field Director for 'New' Texans.

        It could be worse. msaroff could still be living in Texas.

        by George on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 02:34:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this (none) meant so much more than the dry reports on the news...I am a baker by profession and I have been thinking alot about those beignets...I volunteer to learn to make them...
  •  Beignets in Austin (none)
    Check out Crescent City Beignets on West 6th Street-- beignets and some lunch dishes, too.

    Want Bush's head on a platter? Yuck! Why not just demand that he resign?

    by Sandia Blanca on Sat Sep 10, 2005 at 06:38:33 PM PDT

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