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Geez, has it been seven months? Guess I got a little distracted with that hurricane down South. Since we last talked, I helped launch a relief organization that is sending caravans of volunteers to New Orleans and soonly to coastal Mississippi.

Ruins of the Day Dreams Beach Bar, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Photo by Don Ball

Looking for a photo to post that relates to my post-K activities, I found this one from a trip a few weeks ago to Bay St. Louis. Figuring that there must be a story behind this, I found the following exerpt from an article by Ace Atkin in Outside magazine.

DAYS BEFORE, we'd been in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which was a hollowed-out shell, roads collapsed on top of eroded shoreline, railroad tracks stretched and turned on the horizon like taffy. More than anywhere else, people came here to stand at the end of the little town—once populated by quaint restaurants and cafés, bars and bookshops—to look at the oddity of destruction.

On the edge of the beach, Jimmy Bodden asked if we'd like to join him at the bar he managed. For a few moments I thought Jimmy had gone a little nutty.

The bar?

Jimmy walked us down to the edge of the beach, where two support beams still stood. Todd Key, the bartender, searched for a two-by-four to nail across the beams. Todd laid out liquor bottles and even found the sign for the place, Day Dreams, in the wreckage.

Someone brought out a battery-powered radio. They played oldies for Jimmy. Beer was poured and the sun set over the Gulf. Everyone toasted the bar's owner, Ernie, a former marine who'd had his leg nearly blown off in Vietnam and had driven a United cab in New Orleans for 20 years to buy the place.

"Hey," said Rick Barbera, a regular, to anyone who joined the party. "There was a hurricane here, unless you didn't know."

They were still drinking, laughing, and listening to oldies when we left.

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