NEW ORLEANS —
David Young, graying beard tumbling down below his chin, patiently waters the vegetable and fruit garden on a plot of land where a house once stood in the Ninth Ward, the New Orleans suburb devastated by Hurricane Katrina 7½ years ago.
If anyone demonstrates the ongoing and grassroots restoration happening here, it is Young, a retired police chief from Indiana.
"I was called to to do this," he said. He is the founder of Capstone, a teen jail ministry that has done much good for an area that still needs help.
A visit Saturday revealed the scars and the sadness inflicted on the Ninth Ward. One abandoned home bore a white X near the front door, meaning the authorities who inspected it found no more dead bodies.
Conversely, the scene also illustrated the continuing bounceback.
New Orleans' population, about 500,000 before Katrina, dipped to about 300,000 after the disaster.
Today, it's crept up to about 400,000.
Today marks the first Super Bowl in the Big Easy since the catastrophe. New Orleans is a city armed with too much life to destroy.