Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Driven Out - the final resident has departed the LSU/VA Footprint

Last week Wednesday, I noticed that Humble Rumble was gone.  His home on S. Roman Street in the LSU Footprint, now boarded and absent its characteristic American flag and plants, consisted of a living space on one side of the building and a small studio on the other side.

A U.S. military veteran who rode out Katrina in his home, Humble Rumble was one of the first residents that I met while venturing inside the Footprint.  I would later see him at various stages in the elimination of the neighborhood - out on his porch, riding his bike, talking to tourists passing through, standing with the group in support of saving McDonogh No. 11, and at City Hall (where he spoke and sought just compensation for being displaced).

From what I can tell - and I've given it a week to sink in, in case I missed someone - Humble Rumble was the last resident of the LSU Footprint to go.

And, as the last resident of the LSU Footprint, he was the last remaining resident of the entire 67-acre LSU/VA footprint.  Federal, state, and local government has worked in concert to destroy a neighborhood that was trying to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

All told, based on assessments done in 2008, over 600 people have been displaced by the project, 287 of them in the LSU Footprint alone, along with over 50 small businesses.

I, for one, will not forget.

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