NOTE: Some of the various threads of this story began floating around in my head over a year ago, around the time I posted an article about George Bjorkman and myself here. Over the intervening months, I thought several times about sitting down and trying to pull everything together; but I never did, because A.) I knew it would be a lot of work and, B.) I feared some of it might be painful. I basically resigned myself to the idea this story would never be told in its entirety. No great loss, there.
Then Ike happened. Sitting around alone in the hot, almost dark every night for over a week (the family had evacuated to Rayne, LA), listening to the thrum of a generator creating just enough juice to run a refrigerator, a few lamps, and a few box fans; with enough left over to power up this old Dell Inspiron laptop/boat anchor I had sitting around, well, some force compelled me to sit down each night and go about lashing this thing all together.
So I did. It is a little dark in a few places, convoluted in a few others. If you decide to read it, keep the context and setting of when and where it was written in mind, and maybe it will make a little more sense. Or not.
Anyway, everything in it is factual – all this stuff happened. I might have altered an ancillary detail or two in the interest of flow, but that is it. I did change a few names, not so much to protect the innocent – I don’t know any of those, and certainly no one in this story is anything close to it. No, I changed them on the off chance one of the principals might come across this on the interwebs, and feel compelled to come after me, with the intention of kicking my ass.
So, in a way, I guess I am protecting the innocent. That being myself.
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