Monday, March 28, 2011

Mother of 6 WALKS to Washingto DC from New Orleans La.

On The Road to Washigton
With Cherri Foytlin and Drew Landry

Photo by  Hartwell Carson
On March 25th, 2011, I  received a very prestigious award from the Roosevelt  / Ashe Society in Asheville, North Carolina for “Outstanding Journalist in Conservation, 2010”. I was honored beyond belief since the list of people I was up against are some of my friends and mentors from years past.

I cannot in all honesty take this award as a technical journalist. I am just a story teller who knows how to use cameras and video to tell those stories. The stories are about real events and real people, not about me. I was given a gift and that is the ability to share stories like this one.

It is a story about a lady who became so frustrated by the treatment of her family and friends in the Gulf after the BP disaster that she had to make a statement.  She and many others have tried for the last many months to get the American public to realize that the disaster is not over. 

In fact, it has just begun.

People are sick with unexplained illnesses like chemically induced flu and lesions that look and act like Staph infection but antibiotics used on Staph will not work on their sores. There are many reported cases of respiratory distress among fishermen and vessel of opportunity workers used in the cleanup and multiple rounds of steroids to no avail. People all over the coast that have tested high for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) VOCs are dangerous forms of gases and heavy metals that accumulate in the blood stream causing a wide variety of illnesses including cancer, none of them good!

Due to dire financial circumstances everywhere, people who were once good friends are now enemies if they say or do something the other doesn't like. Industry shills  are well skilled in inserting just enough language to get one fighting with the other. It is the oldest trick and military strategy in the books... "Divide and Conquer"!

Here is an opportunity for everyone to put aside differences and support this lady carry a unified message from the Gulf people that we still have a long way to go before all is well.

Cherri Foytlin walking into Atlanta  by JLW
Cherri Foytlin is a mother of 6 who has taken on the task of making a statement so bold that it must be heard. She left her home South of New Orleans and started walking to Washington D. C. spreading the word that the crisis in the Gulf is far from over.

Along the way she hopes to meet up with coal activists to learn from them what is happening in our communities and tell us about her experiences since the BP, Deep Water Horizon disaster on Apr. 20, 2010. She has an idea that we can all work together to formulate a single message for Power Shift. That message is similar to the one we cry from coal country. Her husband works in the oil field and depends on the rigs for a living. We all know what that is like since most coal-field people have relatives in the mines.  Ultimately the goal is Clean Energy but in the mean time we must have safe working conditions and enforcement of all environmental laws governing the industry.

Just like in the coal field, if this nation spent as much money on researching renewable resources as we do defending extraction technology, coal and oil, we would have an economic boom in the is country that would put the Silicon Valley to shame.

Drew Landry, photo by JLW
Drew Landry is something of a local celebrity around South Louisiana until he had the audacity to take his guitar into the commission investigating the BP disaster. “Mr. Landry stone cold busts out his guitar during the open mic portion of the first town hall hosted by the Presidential Oil Spill Commission”
 (You Tube poster)
He is now highly thought of through out the Gulf region.
It is the same song featured in the video above.

He is playing a series of concerts in the near future along the coast and up the mountains. Proceeds will go to the “Save Our Gulf” group of WATERKEEPERS located along the Gulf of Mexico.

Help Cherri and Drew along the way if you see them. Walk a few miles or a few minutes with them but go hear their stories. It would be great to gather outside DC to walk into town with her.

Keep up with her on Facebook at “The Road to Washington” and on the web at  “The Road to Washington" 

Enjoy the video. Most of the photos are mine, all of the video and editing are mine entirely and copyrighted. Contact me here for usage.

To purchase a copy of the song "BP Blues" visit I-tunes or this link to purchase.

Flights were provided by, 

SouthWings, Conservation Through Aviation 


On Wings of Care, Saving Lives and Habitat



  1. Would you consider walking again? I want to join you, and im sure others would join as well. We must make the media disclose the true impact from the spill. I want to do something, i grew up on gulf side, and i am both outraged and heart broken.
    Sunny White Boynton Beach, FL

  2. Just like in your coal field, if this country invested as a good deal cash on researching green means


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