"Mr. Rockwell: On Tues. August 30th I went to St. John the Baptist Parish Civil Defense and asked if they needed volunteers to help w/the rescue operations in New Orleans. They seemed indifferent and said they didn't know but to leave my name and number.
"After a while they found the pad to write the names on. Today, Sept. 2nd, they'd still not called. I went back over there and asked what they thought about setting up civilian convoys to get people out of New Orleans. They looked at me like I was crazy and said no one could get into the city.
"I thought I'd try anyway. Within 30-40 minutes I was across the Orleans Parish line driving down Oak St., Carrollton Ave., and St. Charles Ave. all the way to Lowerline St. There was no water on the streets anywhere I went. There was no evidence of looting on the two avenues and I even saw a couple of people on a balcony. They seemed to be okay.
"On the way back to LaPlace I picked up three people, two men and a woman, who'd escaped from St. Bernard Parish. They'd been bussed to the Airport in Kenner and said they were kept like they were in a prison camp. They were frightened to get onto a crowded school bus for a 120 mile trip west.
"A law enforcement guy told them, "If ya get off the bus ya gotta walk ta Lafayette." They said they'd do that. They were extremely grateful to me. I gave them $30 and let them call their father from St. John Civil Defense. The cops at Civil Defen' I said, 'I'm with America.' When I was leaving the head deputy told me, 'Hey, for now on this is a DOC, not a recovery unit!' Whatever that meant. I guess they were busy because about ten of them were standing around laughing, smoking, and drinking coffee. Tomorrow I'll try to run some more missions.
"I thought you'd like to have proof that there is, in fact, an all dry surface route into the city."