Certainly, my title is one that south Louisianians (and New Orleaneans in particular)
have been using as an introduction to their recent post-Katrina stories. I have a different story. The day the levees broke, my dad sat glued to the battery-powered radio
in his Baton Rouge, LA, kitchen, shaking his head in disbelief. A few days later, on
September 4, 2005, he passed away at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital from a myriad of ailments, the latest being malignant melanoma that had spread into his lymphatic system. His name was Doyle Chambers and he was 87 years old.
I have previously written a post to commemorate the man he was. I'll borrow just a little, to give you a glimpse into the man who raised me.
He was born in 1918, the first-born child to a sharecropping family in rural Line, Arkansas. By the time he could stand, he was picking cotton. His family relocated to Bonita, Louisiana, because his father felt his children could receive a better education there. He studied by kerosene lamp, and delivered his lessons in a one-room schoolhouse...He excelled in Latin, and his teacher decided that he was destined for an undergraduate degree at LSU. Before his formal education was completed, he had received his Ph.D. in Animal Genetics from Oklahoma State University. He would retire as Vice Chancellor for Reseach in the AgCenter at Louisiana State University.
Doyle Chambers was a man not easily forgetten, and I have not. He was the steady, analytical father to an exhuberant, artsy-fartsy daughter. As I have gotten older, I understand how odd my personality must have seemed in his eyes! Yet with a doctorate in genetics, he understood I had a large dose of my great-grandmother's spirit, come back to shine on in the world...
I wrote this a few years ago, and I would be honored for you to watch my tribute to this man I loved, who was loved by so many...
I miss you, Dad. I can't believe it's been 10 years...
Until next blog post
peace and love to you,