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Eyes on Katrina

A South Mississippi hurricane journal

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Lisa Stroup sends: There is so much to say, but no way to put it into words. I felt like the Gulf Coast was worlds away from Paducah, Kentucky yesterday, watching this all unfold on the news; trying to fashion the images into my vacation memories of Biloxi and Gulfport. The restaurants we enjoyed are now concrete slabs, Marine Life, a pile of scrap metal. Today, the trauma on the news came to town. We have enrolled numerous 'homeless' students as they are pegged. We take them no questions asked. No medical or academic records are required for enrollment. Tonight a bus of 150 evacuees pulled into the Salvation Army. The shelter has room for only 50. We have others ready to take them in; we will gladly take more. Send them on is all I can say. A teacher last night prayed that she wanted to help in some way; today a little girl was enrolled into her class. What powerful ways we can each help. My sweet little 7-year-old boy, lost in the horrible things he has heard on the news, aches to help. His school is making ziplock baggies of toiletries to send to the Red Cross but he knows that isn't enough. He told me tonight that we must send money and pray; that is all we can do. I just caught him face down on the couch before starting his DVD movie for the night in the comfort of his home. I asked him what he was doing, was he all right? He was praying for those people down South. God needs to wrap his arms around them tonight and comfort them. This is a little boy that I have only seen say his bedtime prayers, when coerced by mom after brushing his teeth. I have been in tears since. So, I am now praying that God will indeed wrap his arms around all of us, and in the light of tomorrow's morning, we will come together and enjoy the brand new day. I will go to bed tonight counting my many blessings, and find a way to help those 'Southerners' that arrived by bus in Paducah tonight. Now, I do have two personal favors/requests. I have not heard any news from Bob and Dean Hunter of Gulfport. Also, my sweet boy wants to know the condition of the Friendship Tree? For someone who said she couldn't put things into words, you did a pretty good job, Lisa. The word is out here for info on Bob and Dean. The Friendship Oak in Long Beach losts its platform, but looks like it's OK from early indications.

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Don Hammack

Don Hammack is a staff writer for the Sun Herald. He can be reached at

Sara Greer

Sara Greer is a news assistant for the Sun Herald.

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   •  August 2005
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