Just stopped off for Ruffin to heat up some Gumbo on the way to move into his apartment. Ruffin is excited to be leaving the Austin Convention Center, and to have a place of his own in Austin for now. We located a couple of place settings of dishes and some silverware. Some salt and some Ivory Liquid. And a spare mixing bowl. Ruffin is taking his cot and bedding from the Convention Center for now. Austex54 is bringing him a mattress tonight.

Ruffin says, “Hello, and God Bless all of you. Please join me in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I appreciate everything you have done for me in Austin. It feels Good to have my own place for now, and I think I can work the bus lines, and find a job or two.”
“I spent several days under the Causeway Bridge for I-10, with only the clothes on my back.  It was muddy and stank like nothing I have every smelled before. It was way too crowded, but I did get to see Jesse Jackson who came to help our people. I got there by taking a boat down Delachaise Street to St. Charles, and walked from St. Charles to Napoleon to a bus to go to Houston, but was instead dropped at the causeway bridge.  The water was all in my house when I began making my way to safety.”

“I had nothing to eat for days, and could not eat the food here in the Convention Center, so I guess I had not eaten for six days when Mister Robert found me exhausted in the Convention Center and took me out to eat for some Crab meat bisque to get my strength back up.  Now we have become friends, and I have my own place to sleep again tonight.”

“I appreciate the people of Austin for their help and prayers.  This is one experience I won’t forget.  Ever.”

Veronica is moving into her place tonight, along with many of the senior citizens from New Orleans. We are getting her a plant for her balcony tomorrow.

Janet Strange is taking Liz to the Humane Shelter to pick up her dogs, while Troy and Ari move their things into their new apartment near Oltorf and I-35. Troy and I took a short trip to San Antonio last evening, and he plans to drive to Houston tomorrow to visit his two year old son for the first time since the strom – though it will be a while before he can get to Atlanta to visit his 11 year old son, Troy Junior.  In New Orleans Troy lived in the same neighborhood with both sons, so he misses them a great deal, and they miss each other.

Karyn, Orlando, Edwima, Lawrence, Michelle and most of their family are locating near Northcross Mall, although Roderick, his three siblings and his mother Coretta will be a few blocks away.

Karry left today for Kentucky to join his brother. I told him goodbye for all of us, thanks for the Gumbo he cooked, and that we are proud to have known him. He promised to call me with his new contact information.

Relaxing a moment while Ruffin heats his Gumbo and makes some rice. And smoking my brand new pipe Ruffin got for me from Wal-Mart last evening as a surprise thank you. I have never had one which meant as much to me. I will treasure this gift of friendship for years.

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