Storm Light. One of my favorite qualities of light. There are others. Light at the ends of the day. Golden. Blue. Night. Almost anything but high noon in bright sunlight.
I decided not to chase down all the storm damage in the little upriver towns. Those people have enough on their hands without having me around. I’m about the last thing that they need. Sharing their misery is not what I’m about. Funny how living through a huge hurricane will do that to you.
I did make more pictures in New Orleans. These are one of them.
Most don’t need a lot of explanation. But, the top picture does.
Let me say right off that Storyteller is not normally the place for political discussions. First, I’m not all that political. Second, there are some things that I just don’t have much time for. Politics is one of them.
That said, Lee Circle has been a political polarizer since this summer. Why? After the mass killings in Charleston, South Carolina which inspired the state to stop using the old Confederate Flag, our mayor — Mitch Landreau — was further inspired to remove all of New Orleans Confederate statues.
There are a couple of historical points to know. Of the three statues in question; Lee, Beauregard and Jefferson Davis, only Robert E. Lee never set foot in New Orleans. The other two, Beauregard and Davis, either lived here or were raised here. Two, the city was Confederate for just over a year when it was surrendered without a shot being fired. Admittedly, New Orleans was the largest city in the South at the time.
The statue that seems to be causing most of the concern is the Robert E. Lee statue for which Lee Circle is named. The general who never set foot in the city. It was erected in 1884. During the reconstruction. There has been a pitched battle from both sides. Every possible reason has been dredged up, both for and against removing the statues. I didn’t really care. For me, the only thing the Lee statue meant was that I had to be really careful passing through the circle. And, hopeful. I hoped that a streetcar would not hit me. I hoped that I wouldn’t get hit by another car or truck as they entered the circle. But, that’s about it. I rarely even looked at the statue. I was busy driving.
Despite the historical preservationists agreeing, the city council voting 6 -1 to approve the removal and two courts ruling in favor of removing the statues, the group calling itself something like Save Our Statues won’t let go. Now, they are trying very hard to “persuade” potential removal contractors that it is in their best interest not to make a bid or do the work.
What does that sound like to you? I know what that sounds like to me.
And, now I care.
Remove the damn things and be done with it. Replace the Lee statue with a statue of somebody who actually set foot in the city. I’m up for a musician like Allen Toussaint or Fats Domino. Or, somebody like them. Somebody positive. A little more current.
By the way, I never once used the word demolished. They are being removed and stored until somebody can figure out an appropriate place for viewing, like a museum. We have a Confederate museum. It’s old and dusty. Upgrade it a little and stick them there. One more thing. The removal fees are being gifted to the city by an anonymous donor.
Sorry for the diversion.