GRAND ISLE,La. ― Chris Camardelle stood next to a window at his seafood canteen along La. 1, a closed sign hanging inside the glass.

For hours, no car or truck pulled up to get the crabs he used to boil, the shrimp he used to make or the bait he used to sell.

And this was only the beginning.

Camardelle, 51, has no idea what his future will be. The lifelong Grand Isle, La., resident and shrimper is now shut out of a business he loves with the state and federal governments closing down waters to catch seafood.

But Camardelle doesn't blame the politicos. He blames BP. It's their oil that has sullied the habitat where he lives and makes his money.

A hurricane, he can take. But this oil spill? That's a different story.

'I've got a lot of money tied up over here and across the street,' he said. 'And the thing about it, you can't buy insurance on the ground level. I took a risk. It's my risk. If a storm comes, you get wiped out. But this? I got wiped out without even a storm.

'They need to kill that monster.'

The week before Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kickoff to Grand Isle's big time of year. It's when tourists flock down to take part in the world-class fishing that happens in the waters south of the island.

It's also when those who have beach houses on the island come down for rest and relaxation.

But Tuesday afternoon, when traffic should have been bumper to bumper, there was hardly an automobile in sight other than news trucks and National Guard humvees.

This is the so-called money time of year for the residents.

'You've got like 90 days to make it,' Camardelle said. 'You've got to get it. Now we're all in limbo. What's going to happen now? You know the storm's out there, but it might not come in.'

For these people, it's obvious they love their way of life. They make the boats on their own, raising the ships from hull up themselves. They help one another, like Camardelle did with his friends Harry Cheramie and Steve Ham after Katrina wiped the island clean.

If they have to do something else, well, shudder at the thought.

Camardelle has tried that thing we all call a 'job.'

'I tried a job one time in 1980,' he said. 'I didn't want to do this no more. I lasted two months. I had enough of the jobs and that was it. That's my job extent.'

So, what's shrimping?

'This is what you love to do,' he said. 'This is in your heart.'

Wednesday afternoon, BP began its latest attempt at shutting off the oil gushing into the Gulf. They can't guarantee the 'top kill' will work.

Camardelle doesn't have a suggestion at how they stop it; he just needs for them to get it done as quickly as possible.

'I guess I'm a shrimper that don't know much, but I know they're killing our way of life,' he said.

'They're killing it.'

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