“A friend of mine had the Corvette and I had a ’97 Cadillac. She wanted to give her brother a car because he was having problems in Louisiana and she wanted to help him get on his feet. We traded cars and she gave me the Corvette. I had it for about six years and put it in storage before the flood. I just got it out this week.
We had five feet of water but we waited to get out until the last minute because Danny, my foster child, was afraid of water. Two Hispanic guys came by getting people out. There was a couple across the street with two babies. They put both of the babies in a laundry basket and put them in one inner tube. They put Danny in the other inner tube and I floated behind as they pulled us out with ropes. I was wearing these boots and the water in them was weighing me down. There were fire ants floating on the water and biting me on the neck. We crossed the bayou and there was 12 feet of water. One guy swam across with the rope and tied it to the telephone pole and pulled us across. I saw him once this summer and he said ‘Don’t hug me or thank me, I just had to do it.’ I haven’t seen him since we have been back here but they saved lives that day.
Once we got out of the water. We waited for hours to get a ride to one of the centers. The first center was full so the truck brought us back. We got to a shelter about four the next morning, wet, hungry, and exhausted. We were there about four days and the riffraff started coming in. You couldn’t sleep and I was scared of losing the little stuff I had. I went to my brother’s house after that.
My brother was a foster parent so I became one, too. I got Danny when he was 14 and I had him for five years, but they took him back until I could get my house ready. I talk to him often and will get him back soon.
I have lived in Houston all of my life and I am not leaving it now. I played basketball at college in North Dakota but came home after town years because I couldn’t handle the cold. I need the hot and humid of Houston.
When I was idle, I was helping other people with their houses. I am retired from the phone company. Any time there was a catastrophe, I volunteered to go and help get phone service back up. The blessings always come back. Things like this make you stronger and make you realize material things are here today and gone tomorrow. But it was good to drive my Corvette again.”