(This story appears in When the River Rose.)
I drove down to Randall Street early the next morning by myself. I joined a small group of friends at the Bairds’ house. The Bairds’ Volvo died as they tried to get out the night of the flood and was dead in the road with a broken rear window.
Jeff Baird rescued a muddy bottle of Cuervo 1800 from the rear of the car. (Was it a purposeful part of the evacuation? We’ll never know.) Not one to miss a moment, Jeff cracked it – it was about 6:30 a.m. – and it passed around the circle. It was a transcendent moment if I’ve ever experienced one.
At that point, the digging out of Randall Street began and continued as a block party of cheery effort. An incredible number of friends of each household simply descended on the street. That first day or two back I will forever hold dear in my heart as one of the most positive experiences in my life. No loss of life. Some lost stuff, some of which was material, but in the end, the spirit of the day was more valuable to me.
- Mark Hall, Randall Street