“and can’t tell you how many ramshakle old houses there were with shiny new cadillacs and lincolns in front. Or how many times in the grocery I saw women hand over foodstamps with their diamond-bedecked fingers.
“Every Christmas we’ld drive to my grandmother’s house in uptown N.O. and go through a poor black neighborhood on the way. All the kids would be out on 10 speeds and expensive boot-style roller skates. The 5 children in my family would be looking out with envy from the crammed back seat of my dad’s old ford fairlane.
“Of course later I realized what we had — married parents, a decent house, and, most importantly, Catholic education purchased by the hard work of my parents. Even in the 60’s and 70’s the public schools in NO couldn’t properly be called schools. One of the most enduring memories I have of my father is his marvelling that they spent more on cars and other junk than they did on a house and education.”