the secret lives of prothros.

June 22, 2010

Oil on Orange Beach

Filed under: Uncategorized — prothro @ 11:47 am

The day we arrived to the soft, sandy beaches of Orange Beach, AL several automated calls were made to homes, hotels and condos around the area. The calls had a simple message: due to oil reaching the coast, the beaches were no longer safe and the waters were closed.

54 days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling explosion the thick, brown sludge reached the shoreline and began encroaching not only on the beaches of Alabama but on the livelihood of a community as well.

The restaurants were not crowded with people, the beaches were not swarmed with tourists, the shops sat waiting and hoping for some small trickle of summer visitors.

And it all sort of broke my heart.

Yes, it was a bummer that we had 150 students at a beach of forbidden waters but that just put a damper on the trip, not our lives. Not our ability to work.  Not our ability to provide for our families. Not our ability to sustain a life in the neighborhoods where we’d grown up.

I’m not quite sure how to wrap this up other than to say that I know everyone is looking for the responsibility of this disaster to lie somewhere-with the environmental lobbyists for pushing drilling into deep, unsafe waters, with BP for not using proper precautions, with the White House for their slow response time. With someone.

And I like responsibility so I hope someone accepts it.

But ultimately, the responsibility for these people and these communities is mine. These people are my family, my neighbors and it is up to me to offer them my prayers, my love and my support, to send encouragement and business how I can.

There will be a couple of Happy Alabama posts soon because really we had a great time, I just had to get all that off my heart first.

A small tar ball on the beach (there were more and more as the week continued)

The entrance to the beach

A sailboat among the oil booms

Obama's motorcade drove in front of our condo one day and I was amazed at how many students waited around to see it

The drive by was very anti-climatic and we had no idea which vehicle he was really in and if I were to be totally honest, I was inside for a good portion of it anyways.


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