Baquet family saga

Today's New York Times has a piece on the post-Katrina travails of LAT editor Dean Baquet's New Orleans family, some of which is still transplanted in Conyers, Georgia.

Conyers is where Myrtle Baquet, the 83-year-old matriarch of a prominent New Orleans Creole family, finds herself these days, reclining in an Ikea armchair with a blanket tucked over her lap. Inside the three-bedroom apartment southeast of Atlanta where five Baquets have installed themselves since Hurricane Katrina hit, things can be crowded. Outside, in a landscape much less personal than the intimate neighborhoods of their hometown, even the grocery store seems impossibly far away.

And so does New Orleans, despite the family's deep roots there. Achille and George Baquet, both clarinet players, were legends from the earliest days of jazz. Ms. Baquet (pronounced bah-KAY) is the widow of Eddie Baquet Sr., for years an acclaimed restaurant owner and saloonkeeper in the city's raucous Seventh Ward. Wayne, one of her sons, is trying to resurrect the latest in the series of restaurants that made the Baquet name locally famous.

And two other sons are helping to chronicle the hurricane recovery effort one, Dean, is the editor of The Los Angeles Times, and another, Terry, is the Page 1 editor of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.


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