The Trouble He's Seen
The Trouble I've Seen
Hey folks, listen, I spoke to our man Lattimore last night. Things were not good.
He said he had been evacuated in a school bus to a makeshift shelter in the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson along with thousands of others. They brought him back to Biloxi yesterday afternoon. Everybody else on the bus returned home, except for Lattimore. The hotel he was in had 'checked everybody out' as a part of the evacuation, and would not check him back in without prior FEMA approval which, apparently, was not forthcoming. The only thing he had to go back to was that van.
The van that was 'locked down' in a parking lot about a mile from the Hard Rock Casino. As you may have heard, a tidal surge of between 9 and 15 feet covered Highway 90 in Biloxi during the storm, and flooded the parking garage and ground floor of the casino. It also completely devastated Lattimore's van. The van into which he had put all his worldly belongings before he was evacuated, as he had no other possible place to put them. He lost everything.
All he had left was the clothes on his back. When I spoke with him last night he was literally shellshocked, and wandering the streets of his old neighborhood, unsure of where he was going to lay his head. He is 77 years old, and three nights of trying to sleep in the seats of the Coliseum had already taken their toll. His car was gone. His clothes. His radio and TV. All of his personal papers and photographs. Gone.
I've been working on the final installment of our story here, and was planning on posting it today... only the story won't let me. The song you're listening to now is a field recording we made in the car as we drove up Highway 61 last June:
"I make so many people happy, laughing and happy
then I walk home, and have to cry all night
'cause deep down in the heart of me
nobody knows the trouble I've seen."
Last night, I didn't know what to do. It was late. I couldn't sleep thinking about him out there alone. When I got up today, I vowed to do something, and I will spend the day working the phones trying to get him some help. In the meantime, if this man's life story has moved you in any way... if you ever felt like you'd like to give something back, now is the time: