Posts Tagged Bolivar

Galveston After Ike

This blog began by text on the front porch of an historic home on the East End of Galveston a few nights after Hurricane Ike devastated the island on September 13, 2008, and a few minutes after I was confronted by a baby-faced National Guardsman with a submachine gun pointed between my eyes. My essays were picked up by the NBC Houston affiliate KPRC-TV, who published them as the Galveston After Ike blog until 2012. If you’re here to learn what it’s like to go through a storm, please read from the bottom up.

I received the note below nearly four years after the storm. It is why I wrote about it. But I’ve moved away now, and am no longer the best spokesperson for that place with more hues than the sea. These essays may serve as an archive of remembrances of a brief time we shared, what we loved, lost, and yes, what we wore.

Happy Sails!

Hi,

I just stumbled across your post Ike essays, and I just have to say “thank you,” because for the first time, I feel like someone really understood me, and understood what I went through. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am very sorry for all of your losses, but I had a very similar story, and it just felt really nice to read your misfortune, and understand that finally, someone else understood.

I, also, didn’t get a dollar from my insurance, nor did I get a dollar from FEMA. I used my savings to fix my house, and then got all of my credit cut because I, too, was self employed in a disaster area. I could go on and on, but suffice to say, our stories matched on so many different levels.

The thing I hated the most was when my friends from out of state or out of area, would “comfort” me by saying “I know exactly how you feel, our car broke down yesterday, and it is a big bummer.” If I had a dollar for everyone that told me that “God had a plan for me,” or “that which does not kill you makes you stronger,” I would be a millionaire.

I still have not dug myself out of my financial black hole, but I do have faith and hope that it will happen one day soon. Thank you for your beautiful essays, and thank you for finally making me feel understood.”

— Andrea T.

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Paper or plastic?

I need to talk about plastic bags.

True confession: About twice a week I take the 16 plastic bags (usually doubled) that they give me at the store to carry home my dozen or so items — and I use them to pick up dog poop and line wastepaper baskets and whatnot — and then I throw them away, feeling pretty righteous that I reused them, if I think about it at all.

As I drove off the Bolivar Ferry on Sunday, I was immediately struck by the cotton field to my left — a vast expanse of stick-like shrubbery with balls of white on thousands and thousands of its tips.

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Bolivar revisited

Crystal Beach water slide

I finally went to Bolivar yesterday.

I hadn’t planned it. I went out for coffee and wound up on the ferry. There was no wait, and schools of dolphins met the ferry coming and going. It was magical in its way — cool, gray, serious, but surprisingly beautiful — like a Eugene O’Neill play.

I’ll leave you to ponder the pictures yourselves. We’ll talk tomorrow after it’s set in. Here’s my image gallery…

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The “Bolivar State Park” myth

Bolivar after Ike

Bolivar after Ike

Despite the devastation there, all signs point to rebuilding Bolivar — with modern building codes and infrastructure and the new 4.5-foot vegetation line (to be announced in about a week by the GLO). In a few years we’re liable to be looking at Bolivar as the next gen high-end beach destination!

See the AP’s video essay.

Read about the upcoming permitting process and plans.

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Copyright © 2009 Alice Melott

Essays by this author can also be read by joining http://www.facebook.com/alicethewriter.

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