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Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:08 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Fats Domino and his family spent two days with Louisiana State University's quarterback after being rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, then moved on.

"I'm not sure where they are headed, but I just feel better knowing that they are okay," an LSU news release quoted quarterback JaMarcus Russell as saying.

The 77-year-old R&B singer and his family are friends with the family of Russell's girlfriend, sports information director Michael Bonnette said.

"It was kind of a friend of a friend thing," Bonnetee said.

Domino apparently was rescued by boat on Monday. After that, Bonnette said, he was brought to the Superdome, where he eventually was put on a bus to an evacuee triage center in LSU's basketball arena.

Domino, who had checked in under his given name of Antoine Domino, was reunited there with his family. Then he, his family and a dozen other people from New Orleans went to Russell's apartment just off the LSU campus.

Russell was on the lookout for them and finally made contact with them Wednesday night, Bonnette said.

The news release quoted Domino as thanking Russell and saying, "Tell the people of New Orleans that I'm safe. I wish I was able to still be there with them, but I hope to see them soon."

The quarterback told Bonnette that, all told, about 20 people had been staying in the two-bedroom apartment and had spent most of the two days helping them out with errands that included grocery trips and a 2 a.m. pharmacy runs to get medicine for Domino.

Domino and the others had no set destination when they left, Bonnette said.

"With so many people in that small apartment, I think they were just trying to find another place," he said.

Domino had been reported missing Thursday by his longtime agent, Al Embry, and his niece, Checquoline Davis. Domino's daughter, Karen Domino White, said Thursday she had seen a photograph of her father taken Monday by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans showing her father being helped off a boat by rescuers.

Bonnette said he did not know if he could reach Russell for The Associated Press. He said he had tried earlier, but got no answer.

"He's probably sleeping. He hasn't slept for two days, he told me," Bonnette said.