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Drawing comparisons

The 1900 Storm shaped Galveston’s attitude toward storms, for better and for worse. Hurricane Ike only strengthened those responses.

After surviving and eventually recovering from what is still the deadliest natural disaster in American history, Galvestonians felt a sort of invincibility to hurricanes. If the great, unnamed storm couldn’t destroy the island, nothing could. Islanders [...]

History repeats itself

As part of her research for the chapter in “Forgotten” that compares the 1900 Storm with Hurricane Ike, Rhiannon spent hours in the Rosenberg Library reading the firsthand accounts of people who survived that disastrous storm. We already knew about many of the connections between the two storms. But we had no idea about the [...]

Perseverance

I neglected this blog for two weeks, but for good purpose – I finished writing yesterday! I needed to block out every distraction, even worthy ones, to concentrate on making that final push. We still have to go through the editing process and create a reference list for all of our research, but Forgotten is [...]

Quote of the Day

We’re devoting one chapter of “Forgotten” to telling the story of what happened on the Bolivar Peninsula. I think a lot of people dismissed the damage in Crystal Beach, Gilchrist and the other peninsula communities because so many of the homes lost belonged to wealthy people who rented them to visitors. If more of the [...]

Inexcusably slow recovery

The Houston Chronicle had a good story on Monday about the post-Ike recovery in the Bayou Shores neighborhood, which just happens to be where I used to live. One of the families I interviewed for our chapter on rebuilding also lives there. Like so many, the Enriquez family didn’t have enough insurance to rebuild. Then [...]

Quote of the Day

I’m starting a new feature to help draw you in to my experience writing this book. During the last year, I’ve conducted almost 50 interviews. Even though I took notes and have a pretty good memory, sometimes I forget the weight of someone’s words until I go back and listen to the recording. When I [...]

The power of a focused message

I don’t think anything played a bigger role in Galveston’s recovery from Hurricane Ike than the return of the University of Texas Medical Branch to full strength. The resuscitation of John Sealy Hospital is a symbol of what a community can do when it works together to pursue a goal as though its life depended [...]

A Long 10 Days

I started working this week on Chapter 8, titled “A Long 10 Days.” That should be self-explanatory for everyone who waited anxiously on the other side of the causeway for word that they could come home. For everyone else: Galveston officials kept residents off the island for 10 days after Hurricane Ike struck. It took [...]