A Lower Ninth Ward Story

John Taylor started his walks a few months after the storm, when he first came back to the Lower Ninth Ward.

In the beginning, it was just to see what happened to his neighbors. Who had stayed and who returned, and who didn’t and why. It helped him track the property damage, houses pulled off their foundations by floodwaters, then deposited blocks away.

Ten years later, Taylor is still walking. Each Sunday, just after dawn, he gets up to secure the perimeters of his island. His uniform is a pair of faded jeans, a polo shirt, a camouflage baseball cap with a deer on it, and most importantly, a beautiful walking stick fashioned from a twisted local willow branch, a piece of post-Katrina driftwood.

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