Michelle Dearie's grandfather left her a treasure trove of memories: journals and ledgers from his days during WWI, when he drove a supply truck for the military making routine trips from Louisiana to Chicago.
"I'm very family oriented. I'm the keeper of the history in the family. I like the past,” Dearie said. But that treasure trove was severely damaged when Dearie's home in Central flooded back in August.
Papers, covers, and photographs were ruined by the water. Dearie traveled to Baton Rouge Sunday afternoon to try and salvage what she lost. The Historic New Orleans Collection set up a booth at the Mall of Louisiana, where experts gave victims advice on how to restore their damaged items. They helped folks with paintings, furniture, photographs, and even silverware.
"These objects are more than beautiful things. They are ties to our past, and they keep us connected to family stories and traditions. And we value that importance,” said Teresa Devlin with the Historic New Orleans Collection.
Dearie was advised to put her items in a freezer, wrap them in paper, and hope that they'll dry.
“Wrap em in paper, keep 'em in the freezer, hopefully they'll kind of freeze dry, and the water will get out of them. But it's gonna take a while,” Dearie said.
If she can restore them, it could be the lift she needs following an incredibly difficult past few months. In case you missed the event, you can go to the collection’s website, hnoc.org, for more help.