Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Katrina Memory

After Hurricane Katrina, I was in an online group that reunited animals with their owners.   I've been thinking a lot about that thanks to Harvey.  I wanted to save this post from my old blog.  The links no longer work. Posted on 11/1/05:

I forgot to call the cemetary about the gravedigger. Fortunately, Diane, a nice lady who volunteers at a San Diego-area animal shelter, did.

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society has a Lab Shepherd mix that was rescued from New Orleans. The address where the dog was found wasn't valid so Diane found a street name that was similar and then matched a name to that adddress: Roosevelt McGuire. When she told me his name, I immediately googled it. One of the hits was an article in The Times- Picayune about the city cemetary for the indigent in New Orleans from December 1993, and guess who was quoted? Mr. McGuire, the gravedigger.
Wrapped in body bags and placed in plywood coffins, the dead brought to Potter's Field are allotted one blessing. They are never buried in the rain."We can always wait for good weather 'cause there's never a funeral," said Roosevelt McGuire, a gravedigger at the city cemetery for the unclaimed, unwanted and those whose families are unable to pay for burial. "If it's raining, we just call and tell them at the coroner's office to wait till another day."
I decided to call the cemetary the next morning and ask if Mr. McGuire still worked there. The article nearly 12 years old but you never know.

I went back to my Google results and found a second article, dated 2003, about hogs running wild in the cemetary, and once again, Mr. McGuire was quoted:
But Resthaven caretaker Roosevelt McGuire thinks the hogs are not wild but are the property of someone who owns a business along Old Gentilly Road, a stretch of roadway spotted with car-crushing businesses and junkyards. McGuire said the hogs are more of a nuisance than a danger to bodies living or dead. The beasts are "looking for roots, not bodies," he said. "They couldn't dig up a grave," he said. "But they're messing up the graveyard. I run them out of here every time I see them. We've got to get rid of them."
Not only did he still work there, but he had been promoted.

The plan was to call Resthaven Memorial Cemetary and see if we could get a hold of Mr. McGuire and find out if he owned a dog or not.

Well, Diane called and was told that he had worked there until last December when he became ill. The lady she spoke to wasn't sure if he still lived in his house or had moved into a nursing home. I've looked on the evacuee and the patient locator lists and have not been able to find out any information about him. So, we're kind of at a dead end with this one. No pun intended.

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