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4,000 Days to New Orleans

July 11th, 2016 Comments off

On Thanksgiving Day ’08, while visiting my little sister in Southwest Charlotte, I sat down to a fine meal with love ones. It was November 27, 2008, 1,177 days after I first joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. At the request of a Katrina Survivor named Rick Mathieu from the Treme Neighborhood of New Orleans in November ’05, I purchased a camera for what I thought was to be use to document storm and flood damages at his Treme and Seventh Ward homes. Instead, it was used to document the repopulation of the Big Easy. For three straight years, I carried around that camera (from Uptown to Downtown, from Lakefront to Riverfront, from Eastbank to Westbank) like people today carry around their smart phones. It was always in my hand. As you will see, my brother-in-law Pastor Sean Weaver turned my camera back on me. I was like “Soul Food” movie meets 60 Minutes

I sounded so engaging, and I remember feeling relieved that my Hurricane Katrina research was over. Not! Today, I know that I wasn’t even 1/3rd of the way to fruition when this rare interview of myself was captured. Yesterday, I asked a lifelong friend named Kathy to describe me with one word. Her response was, “Engaging.” This upcoming August 20, 2016, will mark my 4,000th day since joining the Katrina Efforts on September 7, 2005. It is good to know that after all these years, I’m still engaging. 4,000 I’ll need that character trait even more so to finally tell this mega story of what really happened in and around New Orleans during the Katrina Response.

Why is this all still relevant? Because it socially and politically changed the world; lame ducking arguably the most powerful man in the history of the world, Pres. George W. Bush, only seven months into his second term; sending the nation on a path toward CHANGE. Am I talking conspiracy theories? Not at all. I exhaustively researched and meticulously positioned literally thousands of events during those surreal days of the Katrina Resposnse into their proper sequence. I thank God for Microsoft Excel. Anyways, it is there where the true story jumps right out and slaps you. Basically, the light skinned city leaders of New Orleans (Katrina Responders) were scared to death of the darker skinned constituents (Katrina Survivors). A New Orleans pigmentocracy. Three Shades of Blackness

 


M. Darryl Woods, Lead Researcher
The Contraflow Project




7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Atlanta

June 26th, 2016 Comments off

THE CONTRAFLOW PROJECT
thecontraflow@yahoo.com
@thecontraflow
(803) 792-7037

 
 
Katrina ResponseTHPTreme
 

The Contraflow Project Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

FORT MILL, SC, JUNE 27, 2016: The Contraflow Project (TCP), a nonprofit research organization, announces its Hurricane Katrina Response Educational Awareness Campaign. “Contraflow,” a Louisiana highway evacuation procedure allowing coastal-bound traffic lanes to flow in the opposite direction of normal, seemed a fitting term for TCP co-founder and former Doraville resident M. Darryl Woods.

Eleven years ago this summer, the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” On September 7, 2005, M. Woods answered the call to assist fellow Americans in dire need and joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. What began as volunteer house gutting block by block and virtual office services, led to Woods chronicling the Katrina experiences of four men known as the “Soul Patrol” from the New Orleans 7th Ward; along with documenting the Post-Katrina Year One repopulation of the Crescent City.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question was why did Delta Airlines supposedly withhold the destination from the passengers on the Soul Patrol’s September 10, 2005, Operation Air Care relocation flight out of New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport (MSY)? After several failed electronic attempts to reach Delta spokesman Anthony Black, the airline was going through reorganization at the time; Woods snail-mailed an inquiry to their ATL Headquarters. To his surprise, charter operations manager Tracy Bevingtion responded with word that Captains Joe Kolshak and Mike Quiello wanted to talk. What those two airline executives, who piloted Delta humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would unwittingly lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. It was later learned in subsequent interviews that the Delta flight crew in question ignored the FEMA “destination unknown” policy somewhere over the Ozarks when they compassionately informed the displaced Louisianans their plane was en route to Nebraska.

Delta OCC

Now on the trail of the big picture, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. In 2007, the TCP Lead Researcher was given a personal tour of Delta’s Flight Ops/Operations Customer Center (OCC) at ATL; where he met the man in charge during Katrina, the late Bill Miret.

Thanks to the cooperation of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, FEMA, FAA, USFWS, state and municipal agencies, etc., the interviewing and meticulous research continued well into this decade. Then, after reading the Times-Picayune article, “Superdome’s Condition Leaves Mark on Doctor” on March 14, 2014, TCP finally cracks the Katrina Response DNA code. Woods says, “I believe that once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

In recognition of July 7, 2016, the 10-year anniversary of the game changing Delta Airlines Kolshak-Quiello interview, Woods plans to initiate a fact-sharing mission physically and digitally revisiting the same ’06 cities to bring attention to the forthcoming 7-part book series, CONTRAFLOW: A KATRINA HEPTALOGY; which is void of blame, political agendas, media sensationalism, race-carding and demographic stereotyping. It’s dedicated to ALL Katrina Responders. The “7 Cities for 7 Books” campaign plans to begin on August 20, 2016; another milestone representing the 4,000th day anniversary of Woods’ personal involvement in Post-Katrina New Orleans. To paraphrase a 1987 Delta ad campaign, “M. Darryl Woods loves anything New Orleans, and it shows!”

CONTRAFLOW is, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “The Rest of the Story. Good day!” To learn more please visit: www.thecontraflow.org.

###

 
 

Telling Katrina

June 1st, 2016 Comments off

THE CONTRAFLOW PROJECT
thecontraflow@yahoo.com
@thecontraflow
(803) 792-7037

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Contraflow Project Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FORT MILL, SC, JUNE 1, 2016: The Contraflow Project (TCP), a nonprofit research organization, announces its Hurricane Katrina Response Educational Awareness Campaign. “Contraflow,” a Louisiana highway evacuation procedure allowing coastal-bound traffic lanes to flow in the opposite direction of normal, seemed a fitting term for TCP co-founder and former Doraville resident M. Darryl Woods.

Eleven years ago this summer, the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” On September 7, 2005, M. Woods answered the call to assist fellow Americans in dire need and joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. What began as volunteer house gutting block by block and virtual office services, led to Woods chronicling the Katrina experiences of four men known as the “Soul Patrol” from the New Orleans 7th Ward; along with documenting the Post-Katrina Year One repopulation of the Crescent City.

THP

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question was why did Delta Airlines supposedly withhold the destination from the passengers on the Soul Patrol’s September 10, 2005, Operation Air Care relocation flight out of New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport (MSY)? After several failed electronic attempts to reach Delta spokesman Anthony Black, the airline was going through reorganization at the time; Woods snail-mailed an inquiry to their ATL Headquarters. To his surprise, charter operations manager Tracy Bevingtion responded with word that Captains Joe Kolshak and Mike Quiello wanted to talk. What those two airline executives, who piloted Delta humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would unwittingly lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. It was later learned in subsequent interviews that the Delta flight crew in question ignored the FEMA “destination unknown” policy somewhere over the Ozarks when they compassionately informed the displaced Louisianans their plane was en route to Nebraska.

Now on the trail of the big picture, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. In 2007, the TCP Lead Researcher was given a personal tour of Delta’s Flight Ops/Operations Customer Center (OCC) at ATL; where he met the man in charge during Katrina, the late Bill Miret.

Thanks to the cooperation of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, FEMA, FAA, USFWS, state and municipal agencies, etc., the interviewing and meticulous research continued well into this decade, Then, after reading the Times-Picayune article, “Superdome’s Condition Leaves Mark on Doctor” on March 14, 2014, TCP finally cracks the Katrina Response DNA code. Woods says, “I believe that once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

In recognition of July 7, 2016, the 10-year anniversary of the game changing Delta Airlines Kolshak-Quiello interview, Woods plans to initiate a fact-sharing mission physically and digitally revisiting the same ’06 cities to bring attention to the forthcoming 7-part book series, CONTRAFLOW: A KATRINA HEPTALOGY; which is void of blame, political agendas, media sensationalism, race-carding and demographic stereotyping. It’s dedicated to ALL Katrina Responders. The “7 Cities for 7 Books” campaign plans to begin on August 20, 2016; another milestone representing the 4,000th day anniversary of Woods’ personal involvement in Post-Katrina New Orleans. To paraphrase a 1987 Delta ad campaign, “M. Darryl Woods loves anything New Orleans, and it shows!”

CONTRAFLOW is, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “The Rest of the Story. Good day!” To learn more please visit: www.thecontraflow.org.

###

 
 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

FaceBoost

September 2nd, 2015 Comments off

In August 2008, I received the endorsement of Navy CHINFO Rear Admiral Frank Thorpe, IV for my Katrina response research project; which went on to be called The Contraflow Project. My Navy interviews started with Lieutenants and went all the way up to Vice Admiral Nora Tyson, who commanded the USS Bataan off the coast of Louisiana during Katrina. I caught her on leave in Bangkok in July ’09. We had a great conversation. Well, we had a great interview, for I hardly speak during these sessions. I learned early on in Sept. ’05 not to interrupt Katrina survivors or responders as they share their experiences. Depending on their perspective during the disaster, they were either reliving trauma of reliving drama. Anyways, at the end of our interview VADM Tyson says to me, “Mr. Woods, I’m not exactly sure what it is that you’re doing, but I think I like it!”

Well, all that Navy talk got me to thinking about my days of service during the 1980/81 BOOST (Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training) Class at NTC San Diego. Two years ago, I got it in my mind to start tracking down fellow Boosters. I located Naval Academy Class of ’85 Mario Maddox in Atlanta, who co-authored a thesis on the BOOST Program. He was a wealth of information and support. With this being the second decade of the 21st Century, you know he directed me to Facebook. The below six images of fellow Boosters/Veterans are all personal Facebook Friends of mine. I thank God for this new technology, this social algorithm of connections, histories and friendships.

Katrina Responders

Algiers Point Ferry Terminal

As I told USMC Colonel Goddard (retired), my post-BOOST life took me down a road on a career path of social causes and service to my communities. I really have to thank Brent, though, for digging through thirty-plus years of his personal Navy and Marine Corps “stuff” to locate our BOOST Class of 1981 Yearbook; a publication I had been searching for since my interview with VADM Tyson.

Go VolsExquisite LiferThe ColonelInterviews & NewsclippingsInterviews & NewsclippingsInterviews & Newsclippings

Now that I have the yearbook scanned and archived, my future plans include writing book about the Class of ’81. I hope to interview (First row: l to r) Anthony Adams, Tonya Anderson, Brent Goddard, (Second row: l to r) Mark Rubino, David Thiruselvam and M. Darryl Woods, sometime early next year. And, if I can get the time, I’d like to work on a 35-year anniversary BOOST class reunion in June ’16. We have been tossing around New Orleans as a possible venue. BOOST was defining moment in my life. I am who I am today because of my year with two hundred-plus genius young men women from all across America (and from across the fleet) who were destined to go out and change the world. I am M. Darryl Woods.

To you other fellow ’81 Boosters { #BOOST1981 } out there, please contact me at (803) 792-7037, @mdarrylwoods; Facebook/M.DarrylWoods. Blessings & Peace.

 


M. Darryl Woods, Lead Researcher
The Contraflow Project




Categories: Afromation Tags:

Final Phase

August 19th, 2015 Comments off

I would like to take this time to update The Contraflow Project’s (TCP) Hurricane Katrina Response oral history contributors. What began as a shocked, saddened and concerned American dropping everything to join the Katrina Relief Effort on September 7, 2005, has grown into arguably the longest running and largest Katrina research project focused solely on the Responders; you all.

Phase Three “Research” ended on March 23, 2014, the day I found the final piece of an intricate whodunnit-like jigsaw puzzle (that I called ‘How Could Things Have Gone So Wrong’) in the following 9/4/05 Times-Picayune article; “Superdome’s Condition Leaves Mark on Doctor.”

Where are we at today? I see the entire picture now; how things went so wrong, and how the responders came in and made things so right. This week TCP is transitioning into Phase Five; the final phase, “Development.” As stated in TCP’s Funding Letter, the final phase will need the following: editing. indexing, graphic art, IT, travel, software, premium social media account and other professional services.

Contraflow Inc., dba The Contraflow Project, is a recognized nonprofit 501c3 charitable organization. Even so, I am a very independent person who has never conducted a public fundraising campaign in ten years of research. Today, the reality is that without outside support, fruition may never come. It’s not that this epic story is too big for me. I’m a walking Katrina Response encyclopedia. I know it like the back of my hand. It’s that the current budget is too small to complete this God-sized project. The more I learned over the years, the less I earned; mainly due to the constant postponing of the publishing dates. But, I had to go where the research took me, where the leads led me, where the responders wanted to see me. It was my contribution, my mission, my purpose…

What’s next? Fundraising! If you’d like to help, the sharing of our GoFundMe page link and/or widget with your digital circle of colleagues, family and friends via social media or email would be greatly appreciated. All cash donations are tax deductible. With outside support, I’m looking at a June 1, 2016, publishing date for all 7 books. Fruition!

Schedule permitting, there may also be some availibity for sponsored public speaking engagements. I enjoy sharing your amazing stories (mixed in with my ten-year New Orleans journey) about the world’s largest rescue mission since the Berlin Airlift. Inspired by a statement made by Rush Limbaugh last year, I penned the following blog post, “Rush to Judgement on Katrina.” I tell the story of Katrina right down the middle of the road. I can speak Katrina to any group, from any background, of any persuasion, anywhere.

I’m very encouraged, excited and inspired. Aside from one last round of fact-checking, the research is complete. The only reason CONTRAFLOW was not published prior to March 23, 2014, is because more responders kept coming forward from the fall of 2010 going forward. Many had retired or no longer worked for at the same corporation or government entity, and were ready talk; and I am so happy they did.

Hence, what I am saying is that the hard part is over. This is America. Funding will come to see this book series, CONTRAFLOW: A Katrina Heptalogy, to fruition. This ten year-plus in the making epic story is destined to be told.

I encourage you all to follow the final phase’s progress by joining TCP on Twitter and Facebook. Hmm, for many of you we were not even texting during the time I first introduced myself. Today we have social media, smart phones, apps, no wires and the cloud; Lol! What an amazing time to be a one-man social entrepreneur. Everything I need to run The Contraflow Project is in my hip pocket.

Speaking of smart phones, I want try and speak with as many of you as I can. If you too would like a personalized update, please text me at (803) 792-7037. Or email me back an appropriate phone number, preferably a mobile number. My Sprint plan allows me unlimited wireless to wireless phone conversations. Or, we can go back and forth on an email thread.

Finally, this would have been such a great time to launch the book series. We all know how Americans like to commemorate past events in years divisible by five, and even more so in years divisible by ten. Even so, I truly believe that I am on schedule; that this is the path I was supposed to travel. I leave you with a few words of support for The Contraflow Project from Pastor Sean Weaver of True Destiny Christian Church in Charlotte, NC. God bless you all.

Click the above play button or this link to hear a prayer from Pastor Sean Weaver of True Destiny Christian Church in Charlotte, NC.



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