Saturday, September 10, 2011

NOT .... so amusing

I just looked through a photo documentary of Jazzland, or Six Flags Over New Orleans to some of you.  It stands abandoned, falling to pieces, and being reclaimed by mother nature.  I hear rumor that there may be hope yet.  This is just how it made me feel.  Here is the Addy

I remember standing in line at some of those rides with my first son Gabe, now 11.  I especially remember the Spongebob ride because he liked it so much.  It is a horribly scary, eerie feeling to see it now. So surreal, like it had never even been finished being built, or fell victim to a nuclear war.  It stands a monument, a wasteland of our stupidity and arrogance.  No matter how advanced we become as a civilization, nature will always have the last laugh.  Especially around New Orleans.  So far below sea level, an artificially created trade port.  Someday it will all be underwater, again.

I can only wish my second child could have gotten the chance to go the amusement park.  His older brother would have been so proud showing him the rides he had rode years earlier.  I wonder if this is how my parents feel when they reminisce over the Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park  So many people had such fun growing up near that beach, riding the roller coaster.  That tear my mom and dad both get in their eyes talking about how they felt when it was shut down.  We helped destroy that too, by polluting the lake until it was no longer safe to swim in.  They used to say they would love to be able to take me there to play, like they did.

I hate it that some of you have nothing better to do than bitch and argue over the use of photo editing software on those pictures.  If you were from the New Orleans area you would know that these pictures, no matter how much you edit them, can not make you feel as sad as we do every time we drive past that abandoned park.  Or how about the other 1/3 of New Orleans that has barely even been touched since Katrina flooded it.  There are still abandoned houses waiting to be torn down on my dad's street, 6 years later.  Those pictures, from the least to the most edited are absolutely beautiful.  Every single one captures a moment, a feeling, something lost and missing.  Ghosts of Jazzland.

We used to sit on Elysian Fields Avenue and wait for the Mardi Gras parades to reach us.  Filled with joy, unable to sit still.  Just hoping to get some of those worthless beads, better yet a cup (or the ultimate, some of that crew's panties).  Now we drive up and down looking at rotting, abandoned houses, with plywood over all the windows and large X's spray painted on them by the rescuers.  I sat and stared at the X's one day, wondering "What does that 1 or that 3 mean in that X?"  Then I quickly decided, I really didn't want to know.  We were finding dead animal carcasses in piles of debris, just a few months ago.  The skeletons of animals left behind that drowned to death.  Once peoples best friends, now nothing more than broken bone dust on the alleyway between the cracked foundations.  Many of those people, never to return.

I am going to go look for a pic of my son posing so happily with a giant plastic Spongebob.  That day to him, it really was "The best day ever."  I want to remember ...... I need to remember ....... all those Good Times.  If I can find it I will post it for you here, for long before all this devastation there was so much happiness.  So many screams of joy, and so many children's smiles.  Isn't that is all that is important, the children's smiles?

No comments:

Post a Comment