We drove over to N.O. for a building expo thing to see what is offered for re-building after Katrina. With so much commercial, civic and private property destroyed, now is a good time to use new tech building materials.
Nagin was standing on the curb of the exhibit hall waiting to be picked up by a big black vehicle. We passed so quickly I couldn't identify his ride and thought it might be a mighty Hummer. We saw several Hummers decked out with satellite equiptment and other big stuff.
In the exhibit, I spoke with an interesting German engineer to explained that the Hamburg area floods, gets hurricane-like storms and that his firm designs barriers, etc. to protect the ports and river areas. Every time I speak with a European, I get angry because I'm limited by my English. It doesn't matter that over my life I've studied French, Spanish and German. I'm still a Southern English speaker with no bi-lingual skills.
Many exhibitors displayed wood built home proto-types. Who wants to build stick construction in an area with monstrous wind? Who wants to cope with mold, mildew and the Formosan termite when newer materials can solve all of these problems? I don't want wood anything except as decorative material . I looked at crown molding done in some form of plastic so I don't even want wood crown molding anymore. We have the wood molding in our home now but if I build a home, I'll be gluing plastic molding up.
Seeing the big exhibit hall filled with bright displays reminded me that re-building is Big Bidness and that everyone from everywhere wants a piece of the action.
The Australian Government had a display area in hopes of attracting bidness.
Everyone comes to the Disaster Area wanting to sell or do something. We'll see.
I filled my exhibit bag with free pens, compasses, candy, note pads and a flashlight. My children taught me how to grab freebies at conventions.
One of my favorite conversations happened with an exhibitor from San Diego who launched into a speech about how fabulous Mississippians are with our resilience, hard work and great attitudes. We inspired those who came to help us. The entire country thinks we are the greatest. I thanked him profusely and tried to move him away from comparisons with New Orleans people. Our situations are different, no need to be stinky about it.
Eventually, I dragged LH away from the excitement and we had dinner with charming people from Vermont and Alabama at a very good restaurant. I ate dessert to keep my strength up for the Anniversary.
The Anniversary is today.