I posted a few days ago about my ballet teacher Gayle and that she was now the only person I knew of that stayed in NOLA. After days of no news, I was forwarded this email of her “odyssey.” The writer of the email is a woman named Olga who is quite a character and proclaimed “impresario of dance.” I helped her draft a grant proposal once and it was amazing how much she knows about the history of ballet and its origins. Enjoy the read! 🙂
Gayle endured the hurricane well and had running water until Tuesday. Then the water began to rise, and she was without power or water. Her elderly landlord and two other elderly people in her apartment house came up to her apartment to escape the rising waters. Eventually the apartment house had 4 feet of water on the first floor. .
Wednesday she began to be worried. She could hear some shooting in the distance and it was not pleasant at night when it was pitch dark. However, they did have bottled water, food, cat food and candles.
Thursday morning she sat on the balcony and Juan Park, a man on a bycicle, passed by trying to rescue people. Gayle pointed out that by sheer miracle there was a skiff left by the wind on her back yard (!!!). Mr. Park used said boat to get Gayle out to St. Charles. They located her car, safe and dry in the Loyola parking lot. Knowning that they could leave the city, they went back to the house (on the skiff) and picked up the other 3 persons and her cat Chabukiani, and brought them back to St. Charles where they boareded Gayle’s car. They drove on St. Charles (the lake side of St; Charles) and went down Webster Street. Then they went on Tchoupitoulas (or Magazine, I do not remember which one) and took the bridge to Baton Rouge. This was the only road open (on to the the West Bank). When they arrived in Baton Rouge the other persons were met by family or by the Jewish Relief agency. Gayle and Chabukiani were offered a very confortable room for Thursday night by a lady that had heard Gayle tell the story. (The lady works at a Law Firm.) The next morning she drove to Houston, without misshaps, and has been at Hiller ‘s since then.
I told her how people in three continents had been frantic about her. She thanks us all for the prayers and thinks that it was our prayers that sent the two good samaritans to her.