Saturday, October 01, 2005

Katrina Survivors


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...

2 comments:

todd vodka said...

Jeannie,

We are Americans, strong and proud. And so too shall be our voices: both the poor and rich, able and ill, safe or sieged. I will not squelch my criticism of a Federal Administration in need of democratically achieved change. The president failed the people he was entrusted to protect, and he and his ways must be bannished.

National emergencies are to be managed by the national government. If an administration chooses to dismiss ALL of the tax repsibilities of large corporations and individuals at the expense of the greater populations safety, these very same masses must rise to the challenge and vote these people out of office. This tragedy began when the majority of underprivileged people in this country stayed home on election day.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the present administration would ever sit and have a meal in a $100K household. Bush and the Halliburton clan spend that on socks. Anyone in that income bracket who thinks there’s a Republican on the planet who cares about them needs therapy.

nithya said...

seige,

please do not underestimate and belittle your work down there. your "stupid snapshots" are FAR from that. for those of us who aren't able to be there and have to rely on the (unfortunate) media, your chronicle of the people and life down there has been the most honest, poignant, sincere and raw i've seen. i've sent the link on to everyone i know and i was flooded with emails from people who agree.

hope you and your family are well.