Posted: July 13, 2007 in Stories

It turned out to be a delightful morning. I dropped Hillary off for her fourth day of dance camp, then drove down to East Beach in Ocean Springs in hopes of capturing a picture for my Ocean Springs photo-project. I’ve long since committed to including a person in each of my pictures, and I have driven down East Beach many a time in hopes of catching someone at just the right time. Yesterday seemed to be a repeat performance.

But I drove through one final time, and I noticed a couple of ladies out walking their dogs on the beach. I thought that, after broaching that uncomfortable “do you care if I take your picture” phase of the project, this just might work. So I parked and got into position to ask them on their way back down the beach.

When I asked if they would mind if I took their picture, the immediate (and obvious) response was, “What for?” When I explained, the second lady remembered me from when I took a picture recently at the Mary C. O’Keefe Center. They agreed, and I trailed along with the sun to my back, trying to capture a good shot.

It turned out that my best picture was more of a random, fun one. One of their friends rode by on a bicycle, so they yelled, “Take a picture of that lady!” I jumped out in the road and did, and I think that’s the shot I will use for my book (check it out HERE).

After my brief photo-shoot, one of the ladies asked if I wanted to see her destroyed house (East Beach was devastated by Katrina). I accepted her offer, and I walked with Peggy and Joey and their two dogs up to the house you see a bit of in the picture above. It really was a mess.

It turned out to be a fascinating story.
* Peggy’s family is actually living in the back of this house while they wait to rebuild.
* They are waiting to rebuild because their house was designed by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, which means that there is a lot of wrangling with the Historic Preservation Commission that must come first.
* And, Peggy’s son rode out the storm in the house with several of his friends! She showed me the rope hanging from high in the tree closest to their backdoor. Her son tied the rope in the tree after swimming out of the house and clinging to the tree for his life. He and his friends reported watching a massive sea turtle glide beneath them as Hurricane Katrina launched her furious attack on the mainland.

We simply visited for fifteen or twenty minutes, exchanging stories from an unforgettable storm that changed our lives.

It turned out to be a delightful morning.

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