“No Place Like Home”

September 18, 2008

Yes, that’s Dorothy’s line. but it’s being repeated by thousands of displaced Coastal residents these days.  I’m catching up this morning on yesterday’s newspaper, and I found an essay with that title written by Ronnie Crocker. Take time to read it.  He explains the heart of what Galveston is about and why Island residents so desperately want to get back.

Many times I’ve called the Island a sort of New Orleans in miniature.  The places and people have so much in common, gumbo and muffalettas, poverty and wealth, history as a major industry.  Ignore for the moment the beach houses, the dirty sand, and the Seawall, the real soul of the city is in the old numbered streets and lettered avenues that make up the original city.  Speaking of that city’s damage, Crocker writes:

The farther in you drive, the damage seems more random, like tornado random. It’s bad, just not Lower 9th Ward bad. Things look fixable. It’ll just take a while.

He goes on in great detail to relate the story of the family of what I think must be his mother-in-law, octogenarian Dorothy Davison.  Yes, Dorothy.  Her mother was a baby who survived the the Great Storm of 1900, as did their house on Avenue P.  After Ike, that house still stands proud and resilient.

I won’t recount all his other details; he’s already told the story, in words much better than mine.  The thing to remember is that this old city, the one that survived the storms of 1900 and 1915, Carla and Alicia and more, has survived Ike.

Galveston will take awhile to recover, and it will not be the same.  The post 1900 Galveston was, even after recovery, a shadow of her former self in many ways.  Still, she cleaned herself up, picked up her tattered dress,  and carried on.  She will do so again, reinventing herself once more.

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One Response to ““No Place Like Home””

  1. Ray Says:

    Bob writes that Galveston is – “a shadow of her former self in many ways. Still, she cleaned herself up, picked up her tattered dress, and carried on. She will do so again, reinventing herself once more.”

    OK, folks name their girls Madison and Taylor and even Stanley Ann (sounds like Bloom County’s Ronald-Ann, doesn’t it?), so why not Galveston too?


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