Katrina creates exciting week for Newbern

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Contributed Report

This has been an exciting week for me.

Our Bailey’s Bed and Breakfast had guests from Converse, the tennis shoe company.

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Three men and one woman flew from Massachusetts to Birmingham and then traveled to Newbern.

An architecture professor from Auburn University drove the four around the Blackbelt to view Rural Studio projects – both current and previously completed.

The group also attended Fun Day in Thomaston.

Later in the evening we all attended the opening in Newbern of Subrosa Pantheon.

At breakfast on Sunday I asked each person about their favorite Rural Studio project.

Paul Tew immediately informed me that the Masons Bend Community Center was his favorite.

He appreciated viewing the building made of car windshields.

Kim Fabio, Denny Wendt, and Johan Liden each expressed their preferences as being the restroom facilities at Perry Lakes, the walking bridge at Perry Lakes, and the Masons Bend Community Center.

On Sunday the group from Massachusetts and I attended Sunday School at Mt. Horeb Baptist Church.

Caria Lee and Hersey Bryant and Lovell Briggins were among the group of church members who welcomed us and included us in the lesson for the day.

The subject of the lesson was hospitality.

We certainly felt the hospitality of Mt. Horeb members.

After Sunday School the group from Massachusetts quickly loaded their gear and exited Newbern.

The hurricane was on the way. The four travelers from Converse did not want to be stranded in Alabama at the Birmingham Airport.

Today a package arrived in the mail for me from Converse.

In the box was a pair of “cool” tennis shoes.

They were high-topped and hot pink and just fit perfectly.

I definitely feel stylish and trendy in my new Converse tennis shoes.

Mayor Paul Owens had a birthday on Friday.

Paul informed me that he had his 39th birthday.

Congratulations, Mayor, on being so very young.

Grace Hogue received a telephone call from Tom Walthall this past week.

Tom called from Montgomery to inform Grace that Worth and Frances Walthall Roberts were married on August 4, 1955.

Grace repeated to Tom about how lovely she thought the August 4, 19?? wedding and reception were.

Tom was 17 years old in 1955 and had not noticed that his sister’s Newbern wedding was a lovely event.

Hurricane Katrina roared through Newbern and Hale County last night.

Our electricity flickered and then cut off last night about 6pm.

This morning the power returned about 6am.

As we drove into Greensboro,

Whitelaw and I observed very little damage. Many small limbs and branches, however, littered the lawns at each house on Highway 61 in Newbern.

Grace Hogue reported that she does not have power at her house but that Dusty and Julie Hogue’s electricity is on at their house next door.

I know that all the residents of Newbern feel fortunate that damage in Newbern was so minor but conscious of the less fortunate elsewhere.

My sister Mary and her husband David Spencer anticipate returning to Pascagoula, MS, and finding that they no longer have a home there.

Mary indicated to me last night that she and David had dumped their photographs and family videos into baskets and fled the area with only a suitcase of clothing and a ziplock bag of jewelry.

For this week that is all the news from Newbern.

Anne Sledge Bailey