|Thought I would focus my entry on our recent experience in Biloxi. Most of my focus has been on meeting local residents, and getting a feel for Biloxi. Spent part of Tuesday at the "official" Biloxi Visitor Center. A truly beautiful building funded with both Federal, and State Katrina recovery funds. (pic attached). Most of the tour highlights the beauty, and the accomplishments of the area. Another focus was on the areas role in the Civil War which included the unique cast iron lighthouse located across from the museum at Lighthouse Point (pic attached).
Earlier in the day I took an extended bike ride on the coast, and met a local homeowner who shared his plight after Katrina. He was meeting a real estate agent with the hope of selling his "pad" (pic attached) basically what was left of his home across the street from the beach. Katrine had destroyed he structure, and he city had condemned and razed the building years ago. He shared that he had limited time to sell the lot, and concrete pad, as the city wanted to condemn it, and take possession in the hope of developing it. I was amazed that he was not bitter as he described his difficulty in rebuilding with the new building codes, and insurance costs. During my trip I also came upon a unique beach sigh (pic attached) which described what the local man claimed was the last integrated beach in the United States. The plaque was erected by a local African American fraternity, over the objection of a number of residents.
Spent much of Wednesday touring both a unique museum (Pic attached) designed by Frank Gehry, and being rebuilt with many of the damaged steel sheets found after Katrina destroyed the original structure. Met a very interesting guide who described the devastation, and shared the history of the coast, speaking lovingly about the timeless live oaks that have survived for hundreds of years (pic attached). She also shared what she called "the black issue" when I asked her about the beach, and efforts to integrate Biloxi. I learned quickly what was appropriate to discuss, and what was not.
This morning I fought 45 mph winds, but had a great ride into Gulfport, particularly the ride home with the wind at my back. Looking forward to meeting a few more folks tomorrow. Possibly the family I spoke to on the beach this morning, who were living in their car as they took their family from Texas, to Orlando. The police allow parking only from 6:00 am to 12 midnight so they caught what sleep they could.
Look for more posts when Cutie allows! BEAST