Message from the Editor - Lazy Days of summer?
Today, I would rather forget about the political scene. It is August 29th and I'm sitting at my computer in my cottage looking out the window at the forest nearby. The late afternoon sun shines through the leaves of the climbing rose of Jericho, trying to get inside from the porch. I have just come back, or rather climbed back from the river, running below the rock and on my way I found a few edible mushrooms. Water in the river or rather the Slapy Dam has been very pleasant and I really enjoyed swimming this summer. I was also very successful in finding a lot of mushrooms which I dried, pickled, and froze. I plan to send some to my friends in California where mushrooms don't grow, on account of the hot dry weather.
Besides that, I take walks in the forest and along the river; I mow the grass and pick blackberries; sometimes I listen to the radio. During August I heard about the Czech Tech Affair. Young people wanted to dance in a rented field but the neighbors complained that they would trample even the surrounding area. So the armored guard came with tear gas and water guns and beat them up. According to the Premier the police action was necessary. It cost the taxpayers 30 million crowns while the trampled field just a few thousand. The affair started mutual attacks of leading political parties. Prime Minister Paroubek's opinion was that the political parties should have decided upon a strategy and thus became a target of criticism from the Right Wing parties. Since when had police action been dealt with politically in a democratic state? However, he had also gained favor of the "hard core" supporters. But let's forget about Paroubek for now.
The past couple of days we have heard of the approaching hurricane Katrina threatening New Orleans. I think back of the flood three years ago that had hit the Czech lands. A natural disaster does what it does, and pays no attention to politics.
I feel so sad about New Orleans. I flew above it on April 13 coming back from Texas. I strained myself to see that famous town where black and white cultures mingled so beautifully and gave birth to jazz, a won- derful invention of the 20th century, definitely better than the atomic bomb. Besides jazz it was also there that Cajun and Zydeco music originated. It was as if jazz, rock and Creole musicians got together and started playing dance music. It's so neat, uninhibited and lively. I'm listening to it now as an inspiration. The CD I had bought in the USA is one of my favorites. I usually bring some music home from every trip. It brings back the atmosphere of the experience of the newly discovered places. But now I feel sad because all the music stores in New Orleans will be flooded and what about all the people that will have to flee inland? What will they be able to take with them? Their papers, family pictures or a CD? What will they find when they get back?
I wonder if we have any readers in the New Orleans area. I am not sure. In any case I sincerely feel for this famous town and its inhabitants. Eva Strizovska
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