NEW ORLEANS - After being kept away for months from his multi-generational home in this flood ravaged city, Beaux Landry, 40, returned to find his bathtub rubber ducky had floated away when the floodwaters reached the second floor of his house.
After hearing about Beaux Landry's plight, former FEMA director Michael Brown contacted Mr. Landry, and offered to buy him a new bathtub ducky. Mr. Brown said that he would "use my personal money as a way to make up for all the mismanagement and havoc after the levees broke. It's a token of my atonement."
Mr. Landry said he appreciated the gesture, "but it will never replace the one ma mere gave me." Mr. Brown said he understood how sentimentally Mr. Landry felt for the one from his mother, "but it's time to get on with his life." The two men then got into Mr. Brown's Jaguar and went to a nearby Wal-Mart, which had just re-opened.
Mr. Brown also treated Mr. Landry to lunch at McDonald's, which just had its power restored.
Upon returning to Mr. Landry's house, the two men picked up shovels and started to clean up all of the debris, which had settled on the floor of the first level. Mr. Brown said that "Doing this sort of manual labor helps keep me in touch with the race tracks I used to work at." Mr. Brown's cell phone then rang, and after a brief conversation said he had to excuse himself to go to another photo-op.
Mr. Landry continued cleaning up into the night, alone in his cold and dark house.
Mr. Landry also expressed envy about Mr. Brown's silver Jaguar, while looking out of a broken window at his upside down Hyundai Accent.
Mr. Landry, standing alone in the living room, looked up at the ceiling and discovered three of his neighbor's teddy bears were stuck there. "Well, I lost my childhood bathtub ducky, but at least my neighbor's children will know what happened to their teddy bears. I guess every cloud has a sliver lining." He then left to have dinner and then sleep, at a nearby FEMA trailer encampment.