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October 24, 2009
In a world with over six billion people, there’s one small community—a parish, that means the world to me. August 29th 2005 caused a big uproar for this little parish and almost wiped us off the map. Almost.

St. Bernard Parish is in Southern Louisiana, just a few miles away from the craziness of New Orleans. We’re a small parish, and sometimes we’re forgotten, but that’s alright with us.

For anyone who’s just passing through, they may see us only for our rough exterior, our gutted homes, or some of our people that tend to flaunt what they have—or don’t have. I’ll bet, though, that if that person takes a wrong turn and gets a little lost, that the shirtless man will send them on their way, in the right direction.

I could say we are this perfect place, that all of the children here go to college and wind up with fabulous job. That isn’t the case with us, though. The vast majority grows up, finishes high school, and works hard for just enough to live. Many of us don’t ever leave here; we just stay all our lives, and raise our children to grow up and follow the same path. We don’t see any flaw in that. Any outsider could look at us and say, we’re not intelligent because we work hard to get a pay check, and we party when times are hard, rather than grieve. Maybe, they’re right, that we aren’t perfect, and we tend to be a little crazy, but I think that’s alright. I’m sure everyone else here does too.

We are broken, but we come together and we will be fixed. I suppose that’s what I like the most about my community; we know who we are, and we are not ashamed. We are proud.

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EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm
You should be proud! There is nothing wrong with hard work and living differenly from the majority. This is absolutely beautiful. :)
Madison H. said...
Jul. 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm
beautiful! Louisiana is where i am from and i am proud of it! we all should be proud of where we come from and this article shows that! very good job!
sambo said...
Jul. 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm
So well written!  You definitely should be proud.
SilverSun said...
May 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm
Lovee it(: Nice Job!
tinytechie said...
May 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm
wow. i love my hometown in ct, but this is so beautiful. my community is really privivleged and sometimes it disguests me. times my be hard sometimes for you guys, but yu are lucky to be able to appreciate what you have, unlike some of the snobs where i live.
LoveOverpowersEverything said...
May 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm
I am from Lousiana! It is my home and its the most amazing place in the world to me<3
Karlaa. said...
Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm
This is amazing. Like ColleteF said, it's like stumbling into another world. You provide enough details and info to let us see your proud world. I absolutely love it.! Now, I hate to sound incredibly stupid online, but what's a parish.?
Padfoot507 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 3, 2012 at 7:04 am

a parish is a relgious commuinty (or another word for a church, in a way).


~Great story, it grabbed my attention instantly :) don't stop writing!

ColetteF said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm
Reading this is like stumbling into another world, not perfect, but somewhere where one can be themselves. You've created a strong image with your words :)
AimeeRichae said...
Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:38 am
I really like this a lot. it reminds me of home. Im from Houma and this brought back lots of memories from the place i miss. Keep Writing!
she-is-a-strange-duck said...
Oct. 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm
This is a great piece- it's insightful, and quirky! You have great voice... I hope this gets put in the mag.
katieheiserman This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 11:27 am
I really liked this piece, it gives a lot of insight into your community, and more generally, a way that some people choose to live.  Great job :)
dreamer077 said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm
This was amazing. Lately I have been thinking about how our culture is pushing the next generation to go to college and be successful and earn money to be truely happy, but it's not all about the paycheck and how successful you are. That's not the key to happiness. It's about the family, who you're with and what life you're happy with living, and this is a perfect example of this. Keep writing!
FlyDog124 replied...
Feb. 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm
You are so right. After I read this memoir and read your comment it made me think of my dad
booklover said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm
it made me feel proud of my crazy family even when people look at us and say wow they're nuts..i really loved reading this and yo're a really good writer don't ever forget it.!!and always be proud.!
gman said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm
this is awesome. you have some really good writing skills. your english teacher must be proud.
Ms. G replied...
Jan. 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm
She definitely is!
cavyheart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Really good! It's sweet and humbling... I would love to live in a place that isn't so full of people bent on being just like everybody else. I love this! :)
KiNABABE said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm
Great Work :)
smiley:) said...
Nov. 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm
omgg this is soo awesome,, im tellin you kelsey your going to be famouse one dayy:)) keep on writting
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