Everyone in New Orleans still has a Katrina story, and, like the old sailor in Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” everyone is still eager to tell it. — Wes Pruden, Washington Times
Wes Pruden is the last of the great American newspaper editors, and his comments on New Orleans, which he knows well, always hit the mark. As a kid, I often wondered why our most successful native sons all seemed to be emigres, Louis Armstrong being the prime example. But each time I moved away — to Lafayette, just 150 miles to the west, in 1976, to Boston in 1986, and to St. Louis in 1995 — my fortunes improved immediately. New Orleans certainly shaped my character and personality in my youth, but it also seemed to stifle me as I got older. When I last moved back in 1991, I knew immediately that I had made a mistake and couldn’t wait to move away again. Something is desperately wrong there, and whatever it is is not likely to change.