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Goodbye, Waveland

I found it odd that during hurricane coverage, we would often see Waveland on the map, but not hear it mentioned. It's a really small town - only about 7000 people now, and there were probably only about 5000 when Scott and I lived there. We lived in Waveland for about four years.

It was great to go down to the beach, especially for fireworks. There was this great small restaurant just a block off the beach called Jack's that had only a few tables and made the most INCREDIBLE food. When things were slow at the casino, and the weather was nice, I would occasionally take an early out, grab a book and my rod, and go fishing off Garfield pier. Scott and I would go catch blue crabs off the seawall. It was really nice to drive over to Bay St. Louis, best reached by taking the beach road instead of the boring drive down 90, and shop in some of the antique stores and art galleries. Before I got the job at the casino, I worked right on 90 doing custom framing for a combination guns/ammo/framing/photography studio called 'Frank's Photography and Ammo' (I have great memories of that place. The first time I saw a Nutria up close because one had crawled up to die on the doorstep. The horror when I forgot something and walked into the back before leaving, and heard the crash as a woman crashed through the front of the store). There was this great feed and tack store right across from there, and we got Mutant, our 'special' ferret and I got suckered into an actual blue catfish fingerling for our aquarium (Hint - there are the REAL catfish, and they quickly outgrow a 10 gallon tank. Jokes on me). When we went 'out' for dinner, we would go to get three way catfish at the Reef. Ray's had the best crawfish in town. Videos were something just across from our apartments (which were ROUND, btw) but you had to watch it because the guy that worked there knew everything about you and was VERY nosy. The bank knew me so well that they would sit there and watch me sign Scott's name to things, even though we weren't married. Oh, and Po-boys at Old Timer's, or Alzheimer's as we called it. I remember waiting on Scott to get home from a stereo sale in downtown New Orleans late one night, and it started snowing in March, and even though I had walking pneumonia, I went out on the front porch to make a six inch tall snowman. We went out for Christmas dinner a few minutes up the coast, at a nice restaurant called Vrazelle's that was across from the Grand Casino in Gulfport, and Scott proposed to me. Everyone from the casino used to hang out at the Firedog Saloon after work and listen to bands or shoot pool.

I could go on forever. Really. We wanted to get out of the area, because it was REALLY poor, but the people were friendly and we had a great time. I have great memories.

Now, I read this:

Waveland practically wiped off map by force of Katrina

Pardon me. I need to go cry some more now.


( 9 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:25 pm (UTC)
I'm having a hard time relating to the extent of the devastation.

When I lived in Manhattan Beach, California .. a storm would occasionally blow through and damage retaurants along one of the piers. Redondo Beach had a unique horseshoe-shaped pier, and one year there was a fire which damaged/destroyed most of it. Another time, a storm blasted several reataurants in Hermosa Beach, including Pancho and Wong's (a Chinese-Mexican fusion place). I don't know if they ever recovered; I suspect so, by now.

When I lived in Louisville, I watched as a tornado went about a mile north of us. It did a lot of damage, but nothing like wiping out hundreds of miles of homes, like Katrina.

The scale of this disaster is waaay off my radar.
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC)
Here's a way to see it visually. Later yesterday, a newscopter spent some time along the coast, and this was the first real footage out of Waveland. It's just.....gone. Flat.

Go to http://www.wlbt.com and click on the third run of the Skycopter on the coast. It's currently the lead item on the page. Waveland is about 3 1/2 minutes into the video.
Sep. 1st, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing that. I could clearly see the things you were describing, and it made the current scenario all the more horrible to imagine.
I have friends who I believe are still down there. I haven't been in contact with them for several years. I worry.
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC)
I do hope you find out about them. What area were they in? Do you know? Some areas got it bad, and others not so bad.

I spent most of last night remembering the little things about the area. One big one, that I didn't list because it's something that will return much easier than establishments and homes, is Buccaneer State Park in Waveland. It's a nice state park right on the water, where my husband and I got married and had our reception. All of these memories had one good outcome - I thought of people and times that I hadn't thought of in a long time. I have even made contact with some and am happy about that.
Sep. 1st, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
Sep. 1st, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
If there is anything we can do to help you or your family, please do not hesitate to ask. We are here for you and for them.

Having had a devastating loss, we realize that the repair/healing process takes a very long time. I don't care if it is six - twelve months down the road. If there is any way we can help, please call me.
Sep. 1st, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the offer, and I will certainly let you know if there are opportunities to help them out. We really don't know the full extent yet, since we haven't been able to get back to see if they even have homes left to sort out. It looks like Slidell (where the in-laws were) there was massive flooding and tree damage, BUT that most of the houses in that area were still standing - albeit very damaged. We haven't gotten any information (other than that report and the video I posted in a reply further up on this post) about Waveland, which was where Scott and I lived.

It's still an abstract concept to us right now. It's the difference between someone TELLING you everything is gone or seeing a picture that someone says is the rubble - versus actually standing in what used to be the kitchen you spent so much time in (seeing it for yourself). It will probably take weeks before we really have it figured out, and I think most everyone is numb. My brother-in-law still talks like it's nothing and he'll be going back to work within a few days.
Sep. 1st, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
I completely understand. The reality won't be real for a long long time.

Having been through this first-hand, I recommend that your relatives contact their insurance agent right away. They should be eligible for immediate funds to replace the basic essentials of life (clothes, shoes, glasses, medications, etc.), and for housing.

The day after our fire my ex-husband insisted on going to work. I guess that's just one way of coping with the loss. It's hard to explain, but the lack of a stabile routine is one of the worst results of a disaster like this. There is something that the human brain craves about a routine.

If there is anything we can do to help, we are here.

Sep. 1st, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
That's part of the problem. My father-in-law doesn't really have resources - he lives on disability now. His mother had recently died, and he was staying in her house (he had been living there to care for her). His name wasn't yet on the house and he had no insurance.
( 9 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )