Gulf Coast Before Hurricane Katrina, Biloxi, Missisippi
"In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we are left with troubling images of devastation, loss and human tragedy. Now, we now ponder the future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, contemplating the vast number of displaced residents and renovation of this vital region of the United States. Like many other Americans, I only wish I personally could do more to help with the pressing reconstruction efforts at hand.
Reflecting back on better days, before Katrina, I had the good fortune to spend some time in Biloxi, Mississippi in February, 2005. I still savor memories of the scenic and tranquil Gulf Coast, and I am pleased to share a few photographs which only partially capture the natural beauty of this area.
As a native of Michigan now living in Phoenix, Arizona (the “High Sonoran Desert”), I relished the prospect of some time on the Gulf Coast shore. Arriving in Biloxi, I was delighted to find an expansive stretch of sandy beach directly adjacent to our hotel, the Beau Rivage. The beach was truly alive with wild life, punctuated by wooden piers and other rustic manmade structures. I was particularly struck by the peaceful nature of the area, the ever changing surf and dramatic skies. The sky transitioned over the course of my visit, from clear to misty, then to ominous gray cloudy conditions and finally back to a gentle calm. One day, there was talk of impending bad weather, which never really materialized, and that was my closest encounter with a Gulf Coast storm.
If we can somehow look past the loss of precious human life and man-made structures, the natural essential elements of the Gulf Coast remain: genuinely warm and open people, water, sun and moon, open sky and wild life. These elements and the resilient human spirit offer a ray of hope for residents returning to area, as well as those of us who can only send support from afar. Grateful for my limited time on the Gulf Coast, I am anxious to return to this wondrous area."
Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer -- June 1996
NACM Hurricane Relief Charitable Calendar