I spent four wonderful years in Baton Rouge. Both Suzanne and Michael were born in Baptist Hospital there. We had great friends at LSU, the Cerebral Palsy Center and Goodwood Baptist Church. We went to New Orleans as often as possible mainly to take the children to Audubon Park. We spent many Saturday or Sunday afternoons driving through the countryside. If we had not been on such a tight shoestring we would have done more. Louisiana is a beautiful place with two distinct areas much like South Carolina.

            What I remember most are the wonderful people we met. Families brought lots of fresh vegetables to the staff at the Cerebral Palsy Center. There were hot tamale vendors on the streets. The folks in the speech department at LSU were like one great big family. I have never regretted moving to Charleston, but it was very hard to leave Baton Rouge.

            I am absolutely heartsick about the tragedy on the Gulf and even sicker about the ineptness or unwillingness of BP and the federal government to act cohesively and decisively to get things done. I know that it is much harder than I realize but I also know how ingenious ordinary citizens can be when given an opportunity. I know also that the politicians will use every opportunity to criticize the other party, but much more is at stake than any one person’s career. President Obama should put one person at the helm whose word is law. Declare a national emergency if that is what it takes. Do whatever is necessary to get the job done. There will be years to point fingers, but right now get the job done.