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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #704
                   Friday,  September 2, 2005
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                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
                      <r.gonsett@ieee.org>
    Copyright 2005, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  JOHN BUFFALOE AND HURRICANE KATRINA
  As many of you know, John Buffaloe was the man in charge
of Jefferson Pilot's San Diego radio engineering operations for
many years.  He had a very successful career with JP, lived in
San Diego County and followed his and his wife's dream to move
to New Orleans where he became Director of Engineering for a
radio cluster in January of this year (CGC #670).
  Just before leaving San Diego, however, he had to deal
with the collapse of the KSON(AM) tower structure, and he is
now dealing with a far more difficult situation in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina.  Following is John's report, dated today.
He's one of us, and we could well be in his shoes.
  ______
  Greetings all,
  Annette and I are fine and in Memphis with friends.  She
was already here when Katrina hit, and I arrived last night after
several harrowing experiences.  We escaped with both of our cars,
my two favorite guitars and a Crate V-15 amp, various electronic
devices (gotta have that laptop), five days worth of clothes,
some tools and Annette's portfolio negatives.
  We don't know the condition of our house, although we do
know it's not under water nor did it ever flood.  It has probably
been looted by now, or will be soon.  I was fired from my job on
Wednesday, but I won't get into that for obvious reasons.
  The power has been out at my 85 year old Dad's house in
Jackson, MS since Monday and will probably be out for another two
to three weeks.  He has excellent round the clock assistance which
allows me to be in Memphis with my wife for a little while.
  Annette and I had dreamed of leaving southern California for
years and moving to New Orleans to spend the rest of our lives.
We were fortunate that I landed a job there in January and we
moved into a beautiful renovated house in Algiers Point and were
getting on quite well with our new life.  I stumbled into an
association with a gospel vocal group called the Zion Harmonizers,
and was honored to be the first Caucasian to be associated with
them in their 56 year history.  We did two shows at the House of
Blues Gospel Brunch two weeks ago, and I was featured as lead bass
singer on a song called "Crossing Over."  My brother-in-law was
there and is the only family member that ever got to see me with
the Zions.  We were to do a short tour in Spain in December and
I was looking forward to performing with them at Jazz Fest in the
spring.  I don't know any of the members whereabouts or condition
at this time.  They are true gentlemen and devoted Christians
and they accepted me like I was a family member.
  This is intended only to inform, not to engender sympathy.
Annette and I are fine and will be fine in the future.  All we
have lost is stuff.  We have our lives and each other, and we'll
eventually put it all back together and get back on our feet.
We aren't broke by any means, and our insurance will cover most
of our financial losses.  Employment for me will become an issue
but I am confidant I'll find something at the appropriate time.
In the meantime, we have a small apartment next door to friends,
and a large support group of other friends here in Memphis.
Considering what's happening in New Orleans right now, and that
either or both of us could still be there, I find myself
extremely lucky to be in the current circumstances.
  Many ask the simple question, "What will you do next" which
calls for a million responses.  I will actually do my laundry next
as I have been on the road and used up all of my clothing for the
past five days.  Then Annette and I will begin to focus on what
needs to be addressed, get centered, and start knocking things
down.  It will be somewhere between three and six months before
we can return to assess our house damage and recover whatever
possessions may be left intact.
  Sometimes life does funny things to you.  While I am certainly
saddened by our misfortune, I very much count myself and Annette
as two of the lucky ones with options to recover.  It will take a
couple of years, but we both have our talents and intelligence
and will come out fine.
  Thank you all for the encouraging emails and the reaching out
of love and support.  It really does help.
  The city of New Orleans as we knew it will never exist again.
A new New Orleans will eventually rise, but the "bowl" will be
uninhabitable for years to come.  There are thousands of homes
that will have no option but to be demolished, and the land on
which they sit will be contaminated from the chemicals in the
flood waters.  What will remain of the old New Orleans will
likely be a small strip of town running between the river and
St. Charles Ave. which will include the French Quarter if they
can get a handle on the levee breaches.
  If you can make a donation to the recovery effort, I
urge you to do so.  There are two million displaced people, many
without resources and most will never be able to return to their
homes.  To say that this is catastrophic is a clichéd
understatement.  I was actually on the ground in New Orleans on
Wednesday afternoon, and what I saw was way beyond what you can
imagine from the video on TV.  I was fortunate to be flown in
and back out in a helicopter rented by my former company.  I felt
sick as I watched others looking up at us as we departed, knowing
I would be free to move forward with my life while they would
soon find themselves in a desperate struggle to survive.
  Annette and I are indeed fortunate.  Our experience is a
lesson in counting your blessings.
  I can be reached via email at mailto:johnbuffaloe@yahoo.com.
....Please feel free to forward this to whomever you feel may be
interested.
  John Buffaloe
  ______
  As we go to press, a number of e-mails have just
arrived expressing outrage that John was fired from his radio
position on Tuesday, after being given only three hours to fly
into the affected area and "get a couple of my radio stations on
the air" (earlier e-mail from John).  He indicated that he "didn't
quite get it all done."  However, we won't dwell on that topic
because John has chosen to focus elsewhere, and for good reason.
  Please keep John, Annette and their families in your prayers
and thoughts as they face an uncertain future.
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