this soundtrack, and this entry, are special to me.
see, i talk a lot about my louisiana connections around here, as well as how much the gulf coast matters to me. i talk also about my city-kid homeland, our nation's capital. i may have even mentioned that, heavens preserve us, i was born in new jersey. but the place that made me, formed me, educated me and gave me so much of the good in my life is the heart of dixie, the yellowhammer state herself: alabama. i am, at my heart, an alabamian. i spent the bulk of my days on this earth, my entire K-12 education and one year of college, 15 years in all, living in mobile, alabama.
mobile was spared yesterday. north alabama? well, this speaks for itself. devastating. horrifying. words can't say. how bad is it? well, last may, i drove back from DC to louisiana to attend the wedding of one of my girls from law school. passing through birmingham, i got caught in a massive gully-washer of a storm. HUGE gusts of wind, torrential downpour, the whole nine. the sky was this weird shade of green, and there was this kind of whooshing noise all around me. i was driving the tank of an SUV i'd rented to move myself up to DC, so i stayed on the highway. but when the clouds parted, it was pretty clear there'd been a twister of some kind. that was scary, and it was absolutely NOTHING compared to what happened yesterday. this was horror. entire towns have been wiped off the map. hundreds are dead. thousands are homeless. that monstrous tornado cut across the entire state. that's over 200 miles of biblical destruction.
it hurts my heart to see places i love in peril. and folks, this is as perilous as it gets. people i love are homeless, or facing huge repairs. (the man's family, scattered up there, is all accounted for, thank god.) so if you get around to it, here are some ways you can help my homeland out.
there's always the red cross. they're awesome.
team rubicon is a phenomenal organization: they're veterans who come in and help with medical care in times of disaster. kinda like modern-day MASH units, but for civilians.
this blogger has a good aggregation of other links, too, some specific to alabama and others with national reach.
and if you're in DC, there's a fundraiser at gin and tonic in glover park saturday night at 9:00 PM.
my heart aches for the heart of dixie. alabama gets a bad rap in this culture, but it was a damn nice place to be a kid. ('BOTB, gillian, andy and erin in particular know what i mean.) i love that place more than i can describe. it's where i met my love, where i learned to climb trees and turn coquina shells into butterfly pictures. i sat under dogwoods, sunned on white-sand beaches, and yes, loved the fragrance of the magnolia tree drifting on the breeze through my bedroom window. it gave me everything. i'm going to give it something back. will y'all give too?
this child of alabama thanks you.
Letter 70: Be Louder
5 days ago