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Hurricane Katrina

Kind deeds put rescuer on pages of magazine

Published November 24, 2005

When Juan Parke was canoeing around uptown New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina hit, he wasn't exactly thinking about red carpets or photo shoots.

The computer analyst spent almost every daylight hour in a quest to help his neighbors - the poor, elderly or stubborn folks who were stranded in their homes with dwindling supplies.

But when the editors of GQ magazine began searching for Katrina heroes to profile in their December "Men of the Year" issue, they ran across the 42-year-old's story in the Sept. 7 issue of the St. Petersburg Times and set up a photo shoot amid the ruins of homes. Parke is one of six Katrina heroes featured in the new issue alongside the likes of Kevin Federline, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Terrence Howard.

Parke, a wiry six-footer with hollowed out cheeks, said he thinks it's all pretty funny: "I will tell you right now if you look up "GQ' in the dictionary it says, "Antonym: See Juan Parke.' "

Not that he's complaining. GQ is flying Parke to Los Angeles for its Dec. 1 awards party, red carpet provided. Parke has only spent two nights away from New Orleans since Katrina hit, when he was hospitalized briefly after almost losing his finger during his rescue efforts.

His son, Dean, 10, just wants to see Jennifer Aniston, GQ's honorary woman of the year.

[Last modified November 24, 2005, 00:19:08]

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