When the time came at 6 a.m. to knock down the door and serve the warrant, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Arnold insisted on being the first one into the house. He thus took the brunt of a fusillade that left him lying on a New Orleans street with five bullet wounds and an uncertain future.
Jack Scott of Wallingford heard about the incident from his daughter Emily, who lives in New Orleans. “It moved me,” he said. “You hear about bad police work, but this is the opposite — heroic police work that ended up in tragedy.” Jack said he and his musical partner Ingrid Rosenback of Swarthmore “asked ourselves what can we do, and the answer was, write this song, record it, and use the proceeds to benefit Deputy Arnold.”
The duo, who perform as Last Chance, worked quickly, and within a few weeks of the shooting had recorded “Lower Ninth Ward” and made it available for download from cdbaby.com/cd/lastchance6. The original ballad evokes the “fear and despair and heartache” of that neighborhood where Hurricane Katrina hit hard, and a decade later, a suburban deputy sheriff, on loan to a DEA task force, was shot.
“It’s tragic,” Jack says. “Here is a 35-year-old man, with a family, just doing his job — actually more than his job, since he was the one to break down the door and expose himself to such danger. And now he’s in a coma.”
Ingrid conferred with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office and arranged for proceeds from each 99 cent purchase to be transferred into a charitable fund established to benefit Deputy Arnold and his family. Those interested in donations beyond download purchases can do so through a 501(c)(3) established and administered by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office. Contact Colonel Fortunato at the Sheriff’s Office, 1233 Westbank Expressway Harvey, LA 70058.
It’s not the first time Ingrid and Jack have put their talents to use in support of causes they believe in. Ingrid is a violin teacher and former pharmacist; Jack, a lawyer for 35 years, teaches a class in songwriting through Temple University’s lifelong learning institute. Ingrid says, “ We love playing music. We don’t do it to get paid, but when we do get paid, we can give back to community organizations.”
Jack plays guitar and banjo; Ingrid, fiddle and harmonica. As a duo, Last Chance has played house concerts to benefit the Jubilee School in Philadelphia and an international student program at the Agnes Irwin School. They regularly play for WXPN’s Musicians on Call outreach program, which takes them into hospitals to play at the bedsides of ailing music fans.
Upcoming gigs for Last Chance are at Burlap & Bean in Newtown Square, the Coffee Beanery in Media, Head House Cafe in Philadelphia, the Marple Public Library, and the Swarthmore Fun Fair on May 1. Visit their website at lastchanceband.org.