Rock and Sheila Zeringue, Pearlington, Ms.
Some survivors say they'll rebuild, others say no way. Most just shrug weakly, and look at you a little lost, as if to say "How can I know? Can I rebuild on nothing? I'm just surviving."
I didn't spend much time with Rock and Sheila, above. I recognized that they had business to take care of that day I stopped them to make their portrait. The business of surviving is more important than my stupid snapshots.
But luckily, Will Rothschild was able to spend some time talking with them, and others fighting so hard in Pearlington, and you really should hear what they're all struggling with:
"Like a lot of folks in this hidden corner of southwestern Mississippi, where seemingly every home has an old pickup and a boat, Rock Zeringue can do most things for himself.
A wildlife artist, furniture maker and wood-carver, Zeringue came here with his wife 20 years ago because he always wanted to build his own home right on the water.
He drove 700 pounds of nails into his wooden stilt house, all by himself.
He’s dealt with several storms, and with a deck almost overhanging the mouth of the Cowan Bayou, flooding was a yearly occurrence. He and his wife of 36 years, Sheila, have always cleaned up and stayed on.
But 61-year-old Rock Zeringue is shaken now, and he’s not ashamed to admit it. “There’s no way we can stay here now,” he says softly. “We just can’t do it.” Read more...