There was a delicious thunderstorm either late Friday night or early Saturday morning that awakened me and I just listened to, enjoying it and Saturday morning unfolded leisurely and unhurried and I thought I was going to spend a completely lazy morning until morning coffee got me moving and I wound cleaning the house, cooking and GASP–finally cleaning out the refrigerator, all in half a day’s time. This week I was on a Germanic-Balkan kick–cooked paprika hendl (Jonathan Harker feasted on this his first night in Dracula’s castle) and my own version of sweet and sour red cabbage. The first wave of books for me to review arrived–I chose to start with “Flood of Lies” by James Cobb, Jr., the attorney who represented the Manganos in their negligent homicide trial for the deaths at St. Rita’s Nursing Home during Katrina. I couldn’t put it down. These people should never have been charged, and once again I was filled with disgust at the actions of former Orleans Parish Sheriff Charles Foti who had been, unfortunately for Louisiana, elected State Attorney General at the time. His actions in another matter regarding a Donaldsonville fire chief resulted in an unfair conviction for breaking a law that was not even actually a law; this fine man was disgraced, lost everything and eventually died before he was fifty-five from heart failure. Foti just recently ran for re-election to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and was defeated, thank God. I’m going to review this book. It’s brilliantly written and brilliantly human, and Cobb spares no one the wrong when it’s due, including himself. Helping the Mangano’s case is an old friend of mine, Dr. Brobson Lutz–I knew him when he was Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at Tulane and had a mop of the prettiest curls and an Alabama accent sweet and slow as Tupelo honey. Cobb describes him as the Road Runner to every Wile E. Coyote and says that he would never tell him this because he knew that Brobson had it in him to say, “Beep! Beep!” to whoever he foiled. His account of Brobson’s testimony in court had me laughing out loud–that’s the Brobson I always knew. I recently had to track him down after many years because he is an expert in Infectious Diseases and a man kept calling me asking me to find help for him because he had Lyme’s Disease and no one would help him. I emailed Brobson asking if he remembered me and he told me he remembered me very well and called me on the phone. Then he lapsed into that priceless Alabama drawl and said, “now, Jeanne, people who think they have Lyme’s Disease and that no one will help them are crackpots and delusional. If you don’t put a stop to it, that man’s gonna hound you to death.” I took him at his word. We laughed about some weird tales circulating about a former chairman who faked his own death started by another crackpot, and all I can say is that when I read Cobb’s account of his performance on the witness stand I was most proud to know him. Beep! Beep! The Road Runner remains my favorite cartoon character, with the Tasmanian Devil and Daffy Duck close seconds. When the man with “Lyme’s” called again, I did the best thing I could–I gave him the number to the social work department at Catholic Charities and have not heard from him since.
Saw a strange movie last night, “Eyes Wide Shut” with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. I didn’t like it because it captured as a metaphor what most of modern day life has become with people I have no sympathy for except to pity them for their emptiness inside of them. And personally, I don’t see how a husband and wife could make a film like that together, or separately for that matter. I found it had a lot of occult overtones and I agreed with the image it conveyed about the upper echelons of the elite and their entitlement for evil, enslavement and power. It was Kubrick so it was masterfully filmed, but it was just a reminder of the many things I can’t stand about the way things are today, or maybe they’ve always been this way; maybe that’s the message.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend with the right balance between productive work and relaxation.