One promotes surfing events, another owns a restaurant, another is a high-profile attorney.
In a few basic ways, they’re like the rest of us. They saw what happened to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina was through with it, and they were astounded. They sat slack-jawed as they realized what faced their fellow human beings and wish they could go down there to help out.
At that point the three Orange County men separated themselves from the rest of us: they went.
I come not to chastise the rest of us for staying here; I come to praise the three and untold others like them from across the country who didn’t stay.
Obviously, not everyone can interrupt their life and head for a storm-ravaged area. But more of us could do it then actually do. That’s not an indictment; its just the way we are. It doesn’t make our sympathies any less real or our desire to help any less benevolent.
Frank Garcia could have stayed home. No one would have blamed him. After all, he’s fed people for free every Thanksgiving for the last 19 years at his Anaheim restaurant La Casa Garcia. The numbers now go into the thousands.
When he saw TV coverage of Katrina, he first wanted to go help through the Red Cross. Then he decided it would be quicker to go himself. On Saturday he and 10 others from across southern California left in a van for Corpus Christi, Texas, were hundreds of hurricane victims are in limbo. With a giant portable kitchen provided by Jay’s Catering in Garden Grove, Garcia and crew hope to feed 1500 people a day.
“I’m a doer” Garcia said Friday afternoon. “I’m not a wannabe, when I saw the news I said thank God I can afford to do it.” Garcia hopes to be in Corpus Christi, which near where he grew up, for 2 weeks.
Joe Cavallo is a snazzy-dressing, fancy car-driving, hard-charging attorney who riled lots of people for his defense of Greg Haidl, one of three young men convicted on sexual assault charges this year. On Friday morning he headed for the Salvation Army camp in Biloxi Miss, according to friend and fellow attorney Peter Scalisi said, Cavallo’s plan was to head for New Orleans.
I couldn’t reach Cavallo, but Scalisi said his buddy went because he had a great sense of humanity and felt really bad for the victims down there. Joe’s been blessed with a lot of finer things in life and wanted to give something back Scalisi said. The idea it isn’t to provide lawyering. He’s up to his elbows in grime and grit and hard work,” Scalisi said. Late Friday afternoon, having talked to give out during the day.
Mike Sharp “does big way serving projects” in his normal life saying that Katrina took the normalcy away from hundreds of thousands of people, he acted. Using his knowledge of the water in how to get places.