Katrina: Voices from the past

On September 1, 2015 by M. Scott Mahaskey

While media reported the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina several days ago, it was on this day – Sept. 1, 2005 – that I made a widely distributed photo of a firefighter assisting a young boy outside the Superdome. Doug Balser, the firefighter, was kind enough to email me an update of their lives today. It’s an extraordinary rare exchange for a photographer to hear from subjects, particularly following national emergencies, and it’s my delight to share another ray of light amid such dark times in New Orleans.


The 10th anniversary of Katrina is just around the corner and that iconic photo that
you captured of myself and Deonte Hurst at the Superdome has once again resurfaced
on the cover of the New Orleans Advocate. Just wanted to say thanks for capturing a
small glimpse of a very difficult time in history. A family member of that little
boy tracked me down several years later and gave me a large poster of that photo
thanking me for saving his life and being his hero. Although I'm sure they would of
made it out of there Ok, had we not been there, 
The photo you took that day will always have a special place in my heart and
Deonte's . I'm sure of that.

Captain Douglas Balser
New Orleans Fire Dept.
Sent from my iPhone

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