This is the second sibling that I have lost since coming to Pass Christian. My sister Bernice (Bim) died just two days after I arrived on Jan, 2006. Bim along with my dad took on much of the responsibility for raising our family of seven after my mother died when I was just nine years old. She gave up her high school and college years to care for me (not an easy task) and my six siblings..

Brother Bob took over in my college years and though plagued with tuberculosis was my role model and mentor and in many ways responsible for me getting through college. His funeral is today, at this hour.

As with my sister I will not be attending the funeral. . . . Not an easy decision to make. Yet in many ways I think I have felt closer to them from this distance and in this place than I would have had I been physically present at the memorial service. I feel it is possible in the quietness of this place to reflect on the memories of our years together and to go even beyond that and experience a spiritual connection I did not know was possible.

Maybe it is this place. Surrounded bby unimanageaablele destruction of property and the shattering of lives and families, on one hand, and the unconditional love and compassion acted out on the other . . . I can only marvel at the depths people are willing to journey to provide a glimmer of hope.

I know there are other religions or groups capable of achieving this level of love and compassion, but for now I sense the purest form oof Christianityty that I have known.. That spirit is truly contagious. In my short time here I have witnessed volunteers venturing from tiny First United Methodist Church of Pass Christian, MS into someonelseses home and world and emerge with the conviction that the spirit is being passed along.

KATRINA
AND DAD-CAM.COM

This is the second sibling that I have lost since coming to Pass Christian. My sister Bernice (Bim) died just two days after I arrived on Jan, 2006. Bim along with my dad took on much of the responsibility for raising our family of seven after my mother died when I was just nine years old. She gave up her high school and college years to care for me (not an easy task) and my six siblings..

Brother Bob took over in my college years and though plagued with tuberculosis was my role model and mentor and in many ways responsible for me getting through college. His funeral is today, at this hour.

As with my sister I will not be attending the funeral. . . . Not an easy decision to make. Yet in many ways I think I have felt closer to them from this distance and in this place than I would have had I been physically present at the memorial service. I feel it is possible in the quietness of this place to reflect on the memories of our years together and to go even beyond that and experience a spiritual connection I did not know was possible.

Maybe it is this place. Surrounded bby unimanageaablele destruction of property and the shattering of lives and families, on one hand, and the unconditional love and compassion acted out on the other . . . I can only marvel at the depths people are willing to journey to provide a glimmer of hope.

I know there are other religions or groups capable of achieving this level of love and compassion, but for now I sense the purest form oof Christianityty that I have known.. That spirit is truly contagious. In my short time here I have witnessed volunteers venturing from tiny First United Methodist Church of Pass Christian, MS into someonelseses home and world and emerge with the conviction that the spirit is being passed along.

What do we have in common?

Katrina is well known as the hurricane that devastated much of the Gulf Coast. Dad-cam (aka Dad Feets, aka Don Wierenga) is much less known as the web-site which normally is fired up this time of the year to report Spring Break action from South Padre Island, TX.

This winter, starting Jan.2, 2006 I'll be reporting from Pass Christian, MS. where I will offer my services to this small community nearly wiped out by the hurricane.

My goal will be the same: From the perspective of a Dad (and Grand Dad) give an honest appraisal of the action that surrounds me. One big difference is that this year I hope to be part of the action. My assignment is not clear. But stay tuned . . . here and at dad-cam.com


Jan 14

Ms Althea

I spent today at her home, It is drying out after being inundated with six feet of water and buffeted by 150 m.p.h. winds. I had been working at establishing a rapport with her after being told by her good friend and neighbor that she wasn't going to allow just anyone to go through her stuff. I wanted at least to diminish that burden.

Perhaps 90 percent of homes that can be rebuilt have undergone the ‘mucking’ process. Ms Althea was one of the last holdouts.

Our crew of five college students and their professor had been assigned to “{muck out{ the house which simply means removing everything down to the bare studs and the six inches of muck that had seeped to the floor.
Imagine, if you can, thinking for five months about every worldly possession slowly deteriorating into a soggy mess and finally taking the bold step of prying open the front door to begin the task of reclaiming memories of the past 83 years. She discovered very quickly that we were guests in her home and as volunteers were there to help her through the process.As Mike constantly reminds us,"W are abput building people not houses."


massive re-building effort that will be needed.

More Katrina photos

Jan.7, 2006

Just a week ago I arrived at Pass Christian, stubbornly choose to live in my truck and only last night, when the temperature dipped below freezing, did I move into one of the converted bunk rooms in the church. Smart move! Several of the groups I got to know are leaving in the morning and other groups are arriving. I shared 'mucking out a water logged home the past two days . . . which is a great way to bond with eight college guys.

Mike Zimmerman the volunteer coordinator has been helping me get acquainted with the many steps necessary to make this massive effort work. He is good at it and I only hope I'll be able to be of help to him and this community. The leaders of the varied groups are 'semi-organized' and anxious to cut through the red tape to get the job done. An example of 'Driveway Diplomacy' was our meeting with an elderly couple in their temporary trailer home. They own valuable property and want to avoid putting into the hands of the casino operators. Mike and another coordinator arranged the meeting and within an hour the coupleagreed to a long term plan to allow the property to be developed as somewhat of a retreat center that would allow potential donors to be invited to observe first hand the

and stories at www.dad-cam.com