When I was watching TV the other night and I saw the ad for the 5th Anniversary World Trade Center Commemorative coin from the National Collector’s Mint, complete with a silver rendition of the WTC that can stand up from the face of the coin — and made from actual silver
scavenged salvaged from Ground Zero! — I immediately looked around for something from one of the usual venues — you know, the ones that advertise in PARADE magazine — to commemorate the disaster last year in New Orleans. Nothing so far as I could see.
Oh, sure, you could shell out $250-$1,000 to The Phoenix of New Orleans to get a plate with your name on it embedded in the sidewalk while the bulk of the money goes to rebuild “a community that has never had a heart, a neighborhood park, a school playground or safe streets at night”, but you can’t put that in your memory hutch or on your plate rail.
Inspired by the WTC coin’s message (“Even Grief Recedes with Time, But We Will Never Forget”) and its interactive use of materials from the site of the disaster, I quickly fired up the kiln to create the definitive collectible for the first anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans. Just in time, too!
The Mint Plant — have to do it backwards, French ancestry — is therefore proud to announce our 1st Anniversary Hurricane Katrina/New Orleans Commemorative Bowl. The bowl shape honors the geography of New Orleans itself; a city below sea level surrounded by poorly-constructed and maintained levees (not to worry, though, this piece of china is built to last!) Around the edge of the bowl are the words: “Hurricane Katrina ~ New Orleans ~ August 29, 2005” and “One Year Later ~ A Flood of Memories” in 24 karat gold leaf. The inside of the bowl evokes the image many have of New Orleans from the flood: rooftops of houses sticking out of the waters of places like the Lower Ninth Ward. Each plate comes with a flask of authentic, oily New Orleans flood water. Perfect for any collector’s shelf. Just stick it next to the WTC coin.
Now all I need is a former Congressman like Barry Goldwater, Jr. to endorse the project. Someone from the area would probably be best…I wonder if that William Jefferson guy’s looking for something to do?