The Spirit of New Orleans

Those of you who receive this article twice a week via e-mail–and there are 1200 or more of you–would miss the following which was posted on our website today at the end of the article “Get the Bad News Over With.” It’s from Pat Blackman who grew up in the New Orleans area and whose wonderful mother Alice Blackman, now in Heaven, was one of those precious saints who made pastoring the First Baptist Church of Kenner so pleasurable for me for nearly 14 years. Pat’s terrific sister Leanna Mohr still worships at Kenner. Pat himself now lives in Texas. Here’s his note….

“I just returned from a week in New Orleans attending the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) convention. I have to say I’m proud of the SEG for staying with New Orleans when several other conventions pulled out. My SEG contacts told me they were not about to cancel for two reasons: one, there are a lot of SEG members in N.O., and two, they felt the city needed the support.

“I was also proud of the New Orleanians in the hotels, stores, convention center, and restaurants. I must have heard ‘thanks for being here’ a couple of dozen times. But the most memorable experience was when I went into the gift shop at the Marriott for a pack of gum. Behind the counter was an elderly lady with a sweet smile. She greeted me with sincere joy and wished me a great day. We began chatting and I told her I grew up here. When she heard that, she put her hand on my arm and asked with real feeling, ‘Oh, honey, how did your family do?’ I told her everyone was OK and asked how she did. ‘Oh, we lost everything,’ she replied. ‘Car, home, everything. But we’re gonna be OK. We’re working, things are getting better and God is good.’ I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that is a good attitude.’

“I think, from my week-long observations, that this lady captured the spirit of New Orleans today and those conventions that canceled, or are still thinking of doing so, are going to lose out on a great experience.”

(I hope someone who reads this will share it with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau so they can pass it along to potential conventions.)

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