John McCusker succeeded where I failed: he demolished his slab-on-grade house in the Vista Park neighborhood of New Orleans and built a new, elevated home for his family. For that, John has both my admiration and praise for what he's accomplished and the setbacks he's overcome.
Still, the streets are haunted by what used to be and by what happened there when Hurricane Katrina came roaring into town. He tells his bittersweet story in last Thursday's edition of The Times-Picayune.
Welcome home, John, and best wishes to you and yours. As you have demonstrated, it's all "up" from here.
UPDATE: JudyB showed me a slideshow featuring John's original music and a reading of his essay. One photo in the set is of the house of my friend the rocket scientist, who I'm glad to say didn't move to Denver--they only got as far as Metairie. I miss you, Vista Park.