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This is a no-cost, ads-free ebook with lots of pictures/photos from before Hurricane Katrina struck in which I profile a few of the more interesting people whom I grew to know, either personally or from afar, when I returned home to New Orleans, Louisiana after getting through more than half a decade of military service in the 1980s. When I was a kid, New Orleans was a fun and interesting place to be. But after I grew up a little and got to see some of the world outside the city, I came to realize the disappointing truth about it. But though I do give the reader a first-hand, insider's look at some of the heavy frustration that comes with living in New Orleans and with its indigenous people here, those anecdotal bits of comedy and tragedy are merely incidental to the over-all thesis that there is hope that all of us can overcome life's tribulations with the help of those who have gone before us and with faith (if only we would actively seek and accept both). Accordingly, a main focus of this work is an exploration of positive insights about what it means to be human in a broader sense and setting, and how we can successfully see our way through all the racism, sexism, homophobia, selfishness, corruption, addictions, birth defects, mental incapacity, love tragedies and all the other painful aspects of life that come along with being stuck on this planet with each other, even if we're stuck in what is, in my opinion, one of the worst places on the planet (well, one of the worst in America, anyway).

"My biggest mistake was not realizing . . . that Louisiana was dysfunctional."

(Testimony of former FEMA director, Michael Brown, at the 2005 U.S. Congressional hearings on the alleged lack of an adequate federal response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster - hey, Mike! Stevie Wonder could have seen that!)

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