Friday, September 21, 2007

Dedication Day (Day Five)


That's really the only word I have to describe the feeling that comes over you while watching a story like this week unfold.

I have some more thoughts and I will continue to post them as the weekend rolls on, but right now I want to tell you about the dedication at Rosie Chaffold's house this afternoon. I spent a fair amount of time stopping by Miss Rosie's home on my way out of the neighborhood because it was close to the build site and I knew the people involved. This afternoon she was the spotlight for the rehab dedications.

And boy did she shine.
After Millard had spoken and the house captains had presented gifts, Rosie took the stage and spoke. I could not imagine a more articulate, heartfelt and sincere speech from anyone in the city on this day. She talked about a time when living in Allendale made her less than human to those in the rest of the city. She talked about the slow decline of Allendale, down to the depths of it's darkness. She talked about the arrival of the Shreveport/Bossier Community Renewal House and she talked about the rise of the Fuller Center project. She talked about all these things and more as a crowd of several dozen volunteers stood humbled by her grace.

But I had to catch my breath and pause my shooting when she said to the crowd of volunteers: "If I had ten thousand hearts, I couldn't say thank you enough." Books have been based on lesser words.

It's an amazing thing to watch a house (much less nine) go up in a week, but it pales in comparison to watching people start the rest of their lives in a new home.

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