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Fri Aug 28, 2015, 01:39 PM

Here lies Vera. God help us.

Vera after and before Katrina.







Her home.

This Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, photo, John R. Lee walks by a memorial to Vera Smith, who he helped bury in a sidewalk tomb a decade ago following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Covered with a makeshift shroud that said "Here lies Vera, God help us," the grave became a symbol of the disorder in the city following the storm. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)



http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/2015/08/vera_smiths_death_after_hurric.html
Amid the chaos after Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, Vera Smith's body decayed for four days on a sidewalk until her horrified neighbors covered her with dirt, a makeshift plastic shroud and a bleak epitaph: "Here lies Vera. God help us."

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Born in Mexico, Smith grew up in Texas and moved to New Orleans as a young woman decades before Katrina. Four marriages produced two daughters, now grown. For her final 15 or so years, Smith shared a small duplex with common-law husband C.N. Keene and their dogs. Their home was on Philip Street, just a few blocks from the columned mansions of St. Charles Avenue and a rough housing project that was demolished after the hurricane.

For years, her two daughters said, Smith helped operate a restaurant and bars even as she struggled with alcohol. A true New Orleans character, she loved fancy clothes and costume jewelry and had a wig for each day of the week. "She never had the same hair color two days in a row," said daughter Cindy Briones, 57. "You always knew when she was coming."

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Keene never saw Vera alive again; he was told she had been killed by a vehicle that struck her in the aftermath of the storm and sped away. Neighbors still believe she was struck by a car, but an autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press last week showed she had no injuries to indicate any sort of accident. The report doesn't list a cause of death, and the manner was undetermined. Her death remains a mystery...(more @ link)



After all these years, this is the first time I've seen her picture. I had no idea she was white.

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Reply Here lies Vera. God help us. (Original post)
uppityperson Aug 2015 OP
shenmue Aug 2015 #1
uppityperson Aug 2015 #2
Texasgal Aug 2015 #3
IVoteDFL Aug 2015 #4

Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 01:49 PM

1. ...

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 10:27 PM

2. one kick

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 10:30 PM

3. Third kick.

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Response to uppityperson (Original post)

Fri Aug 28, 2015, 10:35 PM

4. I'm sorry to say that I still don't fully comprehend the full extent of damage

Hurricane Katrina caused to the area. I was a self involved teen at the time all the way across the country. This anniversary seems like a good time to start educating myself and this post is a good start as I'd never seen the image before.

RIP Vera.

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