I gotta tell ya folks, DO NOT believe the people on national TV (Michael Chertoff et al) saying the evacuation from New Orleans was smooth and swell. It was not. I know. I was there. I left at 4 am Sunday 8/31 and spent 22 hours in my car. The great governor of Mississippi decided to close the border to keep out fleeing Louisianans. Bam. No I-10 East. Closed. Bye-bye.

Which meant everyone trying to get to Florida or Georgia (like me, had a room booked south of Atlanta, the closest one I could find), were forced to drive north on I-59. 2 lanes 2 ways, but because of contraflow, 4 lanes all north. Still not enough. Gridlock. Exits blocked by Miss. State Troupers. No facilities. People pissing on or beside roadway. Cars breaking down. Running out of gas. Flat tires.

When I returned, via normal route, on Saturday, 9/6, it took me only 8 hours, and I stopped several times for gas and/or food.

They say Ike is coming. Well, lemme tell ya, I'm not leaving N.O. No way, no how.

Sorry for the rant, but I had to blow off steam. The good news: while in my very comfortable hotel for 6 days, I figured out how my latest book is going to end (3/4 way through the rough draft) and it adds an nice unexpected twist. (no no no, NOT a hurricane!)

Ciao for now

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