Susan Shie - Katrina Blues
Wooster, Ohio, USA

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This piece was supposed to be about me being my granddaughter, Eva's, nanny. I was planning to do something about Nanny Blues.

Then Hurricane Katrina struck just as I was getting ready to write my diary all over the painting. As I wrote about my nanny adventures the first day, my mind was on the news about Katrina.

How the levees had broken, how New Orleans was now flooding, and how southern Alabama and Mississippi were destroyed too.


I would start a thought about nannying and end the paragraph about Katrina. Pretty soon the piece was a wild mixture of nanny adventures, Katrina worries, and anger over the totally inexcusable late response to the needs of the storm victims. Each day was worse, more people in trouble, more anger and more feelings of powerlessness. It's all here, folks. I kept trying to be positive. I wrote to pray, to send money, to remember, so that this never can happen again.

Randy Newman's song goes through this quilt and through my mind, over and over...."Six feet of water in the street of Evangeline. They're tryin' to wash us away, they're tryin' to wash us away...."