We called…









by Toni McGee Causey


Lean on me...


Sometimes in our lives


we all have pain


we all have sorrow.


But, if we are wise


we know that there’s


always tomorrow.


Lean on me

When you’re not strong.

And I’ll be your friend. 

I’ll help you carry on.

For it won’t be long

’til I’m gonna need

somebody to lean on.


If there is a load


you have to bear


that you can’t carry


I’m right up the road


I’ll share your load

If you just call me.



Not so long ago, we called…

And you listened… and came…

And even though New Orleans still has a long way to go…

A couple of weeks ago, we got to see a little bit of that comeback in motion:

I know to a lot of people, it was just a football game. But for a beleaguered city, for a people who’ve already been through hell and high water, it was a welcome change.

Right now, there’s a huge need in Haiti… I hope that if you haven’t already given something, that you’ll consider even a small donation. You’d be surprised how much it matters. You’d be stunned how well it adds up, and what a difference it makes. 

In the mean time, tell me about your favorite fictional underdog stories or favorite succeeds-against-the-odds character. 

(like I could resist)


* Lyrics and music by Bill Withers

**Photos linked to their photo credit, where possible.

22 thoughts on “We called…

  1. JD Rhoades

    I haven’t watched a Super Bowl in years, but I think I’ll be taking this one in.

    Hey, Toni, I know you’re up the road in Baton Rouge, but what’s the local take on this Landrieu guy? Can he finish bringing the city back?

  2. Cornelia Read

    Aw, Toni… How wonderful! I am rooting for you guys today, even though I’m not a football person unless I’m actually playing. (Member, Sarah Lawrence College football team, 1982. Ahem. "Metaphysics metaphysics rah rah rah/Transcend Vassar!" Our only cheer.)

  3. PK the Bookeemonster

    I am cheering on the Saints today. I think they are a team with more heart than the other guys and I think it comes down to who wants it more on game day. I’ll also be wanting to see my beloved Who at halftime. But for another cause today, if you will, the Animal Planet channel is having their 6th annual Puppy Bowl if you want to tune in — I believe they’ll be repeating it a few times. The puppies come from shelters, including the SPCA of Anne Arundel County (Maryland), Pennsylvania SPCA, All Star Pet Rescue (New Jersey), Waveland Animal Shelter (Mississippi) and All Paws Rescue (Missouri).

  4. Pari Noskin Taichert

    For the first time in years, we’re actually sort of centering our day on the Stupor Bowl. And it’s because of the Saints.

    Come back stories? Since I’m reading the Odyssey, I’ve got to Odysseus is a pretty good example of a truly roller coaster life.

  5. toni mcgee causey

    Thanks, everyone. I’ll be back to regular blogs next time. 😉

    Dusty, I don’t have enough of an idea about Landrieu. I’ve seen him do some good things in the background for a lot of years, and he’s got name recognition, of course. The city has changed so much, he might have a shot of doing some real good. There’s just so much corruption in politics in New Orleans, so it’s hard to see as a very cynical outsider what he’s going to do differently if he can’t get rid of the infrastructure of politicos who’ve been the problem all along, since when his dad was mayor.

  6. Rae

    Hi Toni,

    The Saints story reminds me a bit of San Francisco in the late 70s and early 80s. While the trauma of Jonestown and the Milk/Moscone murders certainly didn’t affect people personally in the way that Katrina did, it still left San Francisco in the doldrums in a big way. It just so happened that right about the time of the tragic events of November 1978, the 49ers hired a coach named Walsh and drafted a guy called Joe Montana in the third round. The playoff run in 1981 was something special, and I’ve always thought San Francisco’s love of the 49ers of the 80s grew out of our need to have something to rally around, to bring us some community spirit. And boy, did we get it 😉

    Geaux Saints!

  7. JT Ellison

    I have such chills – Toni, it’s a perfect post for today. Perfect. Resilience, strength and grace, all rolled into one.


    (and would one of our New Orleans friends have some crawfish etoufee for me today? I am craving!)

  8. TerriMolina

    No etoufee for you JT (yuk, crawfish) but in honor of the Saints I made Gumbo for dinner (my son thought we should have it.) Good thing my aunt was from the heart of Louisiana and taught me how to make it.

    Great Post, Toni.

  9. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Toni

    I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for Superbowl victory!

    And my favourite underdog in fiction? Having a brain-dump on that one. The only character that sprang to mind was Porter in the film ‘Payback’. He starts the movie having bullets taken out of his back and things just kinda go downhill from there …

  10. Tom

    First things first; Geaux Saints!

    Favorite Underdog Story — my friend the archer back in St. Louis, up the river from Toni. A man in STL named Earl Hoyt transformed target archery the way Colin Chapman did open-wheel auto racing. A big outdoor tournament was held each year, in the spring, on Earl’s birthday. Archers from all over the country came to compete and pay tribute to Earl ‘Pop’ Hoyt.

    My friend decided to go, just to see what the more experienced people did. He brought his used beaten-up gear, just to say he’d taken part. He figured he’d define the bottom of the scoreboard, like a beginner should. Maybe he’d learn something.

    Second person he ran into was Earl Hoyt. Mr Hoyt gave him some tips about taking care of his second-hand bow – which Mr. Hoyt had made, twenty years earlier, especially for one of his key factory workers.

    Then it started raining. And it rained. It even rained more. But . . . my friend liked being there in the park, he’d met Mr. Hoyt, and he didn’t care much about getting wet. He scrounged a clean trash can liner, punched out holes for his head and arms, and kept on shooting as all the saner, better competitors went home.

    He won the bare-bow (no sights or stabilizers) novice class, with the worst score ever recorded on Pop Hoyt Day by the St. Louis Archery Club. But he shot the full number of arrows required, he stayed on the course, and that qualified him for the win.

    You just never know . . .

  11. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Loved this post, thanks for the pix. It has been so heartening to see the city come back a little more each time I’ve visited since Katrina. The spirit is definitely back in the Quarter. This win is just another victory for NOLA, long may les bon temps roulez.

  12. north face Denali

    I'll also be wanting to see my beloved Who at halftime. But for another cause today, if you will, the Animal Planet channel is having their 6th annual Puppy Bowl if you want to tune in — I believe they'll be repeating it a few times.


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