Series of events leads New Orleans resident to Natchez

Published 12:41 am Monday, January 21, 2008

NATCHEZ — Carrie Lambert says she has Mississippi mud in her veins.

After living in New Orleans and in Las Vegas, for years, she is now in Natchez —and loving it.

“I’ve been coming to Natchez since I was 8 years old,” Lambert said. “Living in Natchez to me is like living in a fairy tale.”

Email newsletter signup

There were many turns of events that took place before Lambert made her decision to settle in the city she loves.

First was her decision to leave New Orleans and move to Las Vegas.

She had a dream one night, she said, that she was carrying her 7-year-old son Jarrod through downtown New Orleans with water up to her chest.

She awoke from that dream with a feeling that something was going to happen and was weary of dealing with hurricane season.

So Lambert, her husband Don and her son moved to Las Vegas.

“Eight months later, Katrina hit,” she said.

Another factor that took them out West was her husband’s construction job.

Lambert said that construction is very crooked in New Orleans and her husband, who is from Santa Barbara, Calif., was not accustomed to it.

“So, I said, ‘Let’s go out West,’” Lambert said.

They first moved to Arizona, but were unhappy living there.

“It was like living in the twilight zone,” she said.

They moved to and stayed in Las Vegas for two and a half years, where Lambert worked as a paralegal.

Lambert said life in Las Vegas was not wild, as she kept away from places for which the city is known.

“Vegas, I wasn’t into it,” she said.

She did have an exciting experience one Saturday on her way to work, however.

Lambert said as she was trying to park in order to get into her office building, but there were cops preventing cars from entering the lots, so she tried another lot, that was completely empty except for one couple.

She was wondering what all the fuss was about, she said, but then she looked up and saw something unusual.

“There was a plane circling the high rise offices and it was black,” she said. “There was a lot of noise. And there was a helicopter flying around, also.”

Lambert, in a panic, called her husband and asked him to turn the television news on to see what was going on, but there was nothing on the news.

“Turns out, they were filming Oceans 11 or 12,” Lambert said. “It scared us to death. Who was to know?”

At the beginning of summer, right before she moved to Natchez but after she had already made her decision, some criminal events began taking place that solidified Lambert’s decision to move.

“High school kids were doing home invasions,” she said. “They were breaking in and robbing and tying people up.”

She said in Las Vegas, there’s no such thing as a neighborhood watch program.

“On the whole, nobody knows anyone,” she said.

You could be getting robbed and your next-door neighbors would do nothing about it, Lambert said.

The violence of the break-ins increased, from tying victims up, to beating them and finally to killing them.

“I said pretty soon they’re going to kill someone and then it happened,” Lambert said. “The next week of two, the same thing happened and I said, ‘That’s it, I’m getting out of here.’”

In a place like Natchez, you feel protected, Lambert said.

Lambert said she is happy to be in the South, for herself and for her family, as well.

“I wanted my son to grow up in a Southern community,” Lambert said. “My son was growing up without what I consider proper manners.”

Lambert’s husband was unable to move to Natchez for five months, something Lambert said was very difficult.

“But it’s something we wanted for our family, so we made the sacrifice.”

Her motivation to move to Natchez was the city, not a job, so she was unemployed when she first came. But she opened up the newspaper to the classifieds section and saw an opening for the job she has now as director of the Natchez Downtown Development Association.

“It was almost like divine intervention,” she said.

Lambert, her husband, son and their dog Coco are enjoying finally living in Natchez.

“Just to be in Natchez is magical,” Lambert said.