Friday, June 22, 2012

St. Bernard Parish

"Times are hard in St. Bernard," goes the old saying, and parish residents have plenty of reason to gripe. Deliberately flooded in 1927 presumably to save New Orleans from a flood, evacuees were never wholly compensated. Ruled for many years by Plaquemines Parish crook Leander Perez; even got a major street in Chalmette named after him, though parish officials deny it's named after that Perez. 98% of homes flooded up to the eaves during Hurricane Katrina, cutting its population in half, and remaining so nearly seven years later. Many miles of cypress swamp and wetlands eaten up by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet -- a financial flop and environmental disaster. But there's peace, quietude and beauty there for me, which is why I keep going there on picture hunts, and it never disappoints. This time I was lucky enough to catch a boat ride out to Fort Proctor, on Lake Borgne.