Chronicle Books Habitat for Humanity Krewe rolls on.


After a long pleasant evening of genteel southern cocktails, leisurely strolling, a desperate search for an open restaurant, and a half-asleep putting together of our first blog post, we arose Thursday morning from not quite enough sleep to make our way back to the work site.

Getting right back to work, we discovered a latent aptitude for applying caulk wherever it needed to go, and found no end of holes, gaps, crevices, chinks, slits, cavities, loose seams, and so forth that needed filling. “To someone with caulk, everything looks like a crack.”

Some of us created box frames with our bare hands.

Then there ensued the painting of the sills.

And the painting of the baseboards.

Time for lunch. Got a little lost, but ended up at Liberty Kitchen. Hello! A pulled pork po’ boy? Don’t mind if I do!

Back to work. We listened to a dramatically pounding thunderstorm nearly all afternoon long as we finished up some interior painting.

Also working at the site this week were several future Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Each one needs to put in 350 hours of work at her or another house build site. We’ve met some interesting New Orleans residents this week, including friendly and hard-working Carlos, who moved to New Orleans from Honduras with his family the year after Hurricane Katrina. Nathan, a young baby-faced jazz bassist was with us on Thursday, putting in some hours towards his future home in Musicians Row, in the Lower 9th Ward. (Then, on Sunday night, some of us happened upon him playing a gig at the Spotted Cat!) Tyrone, a New Orleans native, wise man, and all around cool cat, had lost his home in the floods. He showed us youngsters how to get things done. Deandre, the future homeowner of the site we were working was also there most of the week. She has three kids, and, almost done with her hours, the fatigue is showing. But is she looking forward to enjoying her new home? “Mm-hmm. ”

At the end of every work day team leader Nicole thanks us for our help, with a youthful sincerity that would melt your heart.

Sorry, boys and girls! She’s got a “beaux.” His name is “an honest and pure commitment to helping others and making the world a better place.” And she doesn’t feel the need nor have the time to crow about it on blogs and Facebook and whatnot. And you? Well, maybe you’re not so young, but there’s still time to help make things right.

Continuing with the work followed by reward schedule, the krewe decided it was time for daiquiris. After getting lost for the third time today,

we found ourselves at New Orleans Original Daiquiri Café. Most of us had quite a time of it!

Before driving back to the house, we walked along the Mississippi River levees. There was a bit of a sunset.

On the agenda this night was to see local trumpeter Kermit Ruffins (as seen on TV!) at his weekly Thursday gig at Vaughan’s in Bywater District. Before the show, we stopped by the nearby BBQ joint called the Joint, for beef brisket, sausage, and peanut butter pie. That BBQ was right!

Beef brisket sammich.

This sign is made from pork ribs.

Thankfully for us work hard/play hard-paradigm-embodying folk, Kermit starts relatively early. The band got to cooking right away, and Kermit’s unstoppable charisma had the whole place dancing and smiling in no time.

Next: the thrilling conclusion!

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