Just like Ruby-Sue from the Christmas Vacation movie (cross-eyed until kicked in the head by a mule), I was not able to “think outside the box” as much before my head injury in 1993. And to my family’s dismay, I didn’t recover and become a good cook or play the piano. Local situational despair has made some people, gulp, “crusty.” Here is where the newbie (how long can I milk this title) optimism comes to play. You see, I have a couple of stories I want to tell you that will make no sense to you whatsoever – so listen closely and I promise they will make some sense if you make it all the way through this long-winded post!

1. Picking Captains – In my days BC (before children), I was a Physical Education teacher (not gym-though I taught a few Jim’s). The principal was observing my class so she could rate me on my job performance (or lack of). She was most impressed that when she watched me pick team captains for flag football, that I picked a couple of the biggest delinquents in the school. They took their responsibility seriously and didn’t let me down while she was observing.

2. Chinese Women – When I lived in El Paso, TX & did my “way too much PTA” stint, I rocked the PTA world a little. In a school where the majority of the parents spoke Spanish & the majority of those on the PTA spoke English, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt there was an even more important group that was left out in the cold, the group of moms who spoke Chinese. I was responsible for a monthly movie night at an elementary school of 1400 & asked a group of these moms if they would take over ticket sales. They jumped at the chance and I now had a steady team of ticket selling women who took their jobs seriously & were more than happy to be doing it!

My point is (yes I have one again), is that when New Orleans is calling for the rest of the Country to help, we (by we – I mean all in LA) are missing key players – RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES!!! We are not tapping our own valuable resources, but searching outside for new ones. Yes, there are some that have a specific and unique job/trade that we may have to recruit (doctors, teachers etc…). But, I think if we search hard enough, we can take care of ourselves!!!!
cartoon by Leo Cullum
(c/p at