Opportunity for Hurricane Victims and Us
Pretty girls are swimming in the sea
The boy will fill his pail with salted water
And the storms will blow from off towards
-Jesse Winchester (Jimmy Buffett)
I bought a copy of Jimmy Buffett’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” album, with the song
I listened to Jimmy and dreamed of being in
Two years ago, I drove hundreds of miles to see the place that I had thought about for 25 years.
I needed to see the paradise that Jesse Winchester and Jimmy Buffett had described for me.
I was there for about an hour and mostly saw casino boats. I did see the water that inspired
The gulf coast has always motivated great music and art. Cities like
The horror of Hurricane Katrina has changed the region. Right now, the focus is on the immediate. Lives need to be saved and overwhelming problems to be dealt with.
At the same time, cities across
Civic leaders should recruit displaced artists and creative people to live in their communities.
People from the
I want them to live here.
I live in
If I were running
It would benefit all parties. Great talent will inspire creativity and lift an entire community.
It might seem crass to be thinking about civic improvement during a tragedy but opportunity always comes out of great loss.
Rising above a crisis inspires people to move further and faster than they ever had before.
The recruiting should not be left to cities with a big artistic presence. Any community would benefit.
Every community has something to offer and there are many talented people who need a new place to start.
Leaders need to move quickly. The opportunity will not be available for very long.
A coach for entrepreneurs said starting a business is like being a cliff diver in
In order to hit the water, you jump when you only see rocks. Divers need the faith and vision to jump and know the water will be there.
If community leaders make the leap and start recruiting displaced artisans, their communities will benefit for generations to come.
The Dyersville Commercial (
The movie is an excellent metaphor for civic leaders.
The movie’s main character, Ray Kinsella, (played by Kevin Costner) was pushed by a voice that told him “If you build it, they will come”. He risked economic loss and ridicule to pursue a vision of building a baseball field in a cornfield.
He, his family and his community were ultimately rewarded for the effort.
Along with improving their communities, leaders will be doing something that helps displaced people see opportunity and a place in a the world.
When dead baseball players like “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and others appeared at the “Field of Dreams” one asked, “Is this heaven”, to which Kinsella replied, “No, this is
The surge of creative talent will be good for the people of
Don McNay is President of McNay Settlement Group in