I had the pleasure to head south to Port Aransas to visit with Mary and Murray Judson good friends/publishers of the South Jetty and their ad sales rep Jackie Linn.
I had no idea what to expect. When I saw the devastation – still after six months – I was dumbfounded.
Visting with the Judsons and hearing all they went through – and I need to add this … they did not miss a newspaper throughout the whole ordeal – you find out what you can accomplish with worries on your mind, little sleep, working and living in strange surroundings.
Mary mentioned that they are experiencing PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after the hurricane. She was calm while explaining all that happened, but she would then ask, “Did I tell you this already?’
While they had minor damage to their office and home, it was still a lot of mess and waiting before they could even begin to repair and replace. And by minor, I mean they still had walls that were gutted, flooring replaced, dehumidifiers running to prevent mold, decks, boat dock and their boat mangled and tossed down their canal.
But their and their employees’ attitude was positive and they all rolled up their sleeves to still get out papers during the whole ordeal.
Driving around and seeing businesses I remember are now gone. Some of the huge souvenir shops are gutted to the studs, other places have relocated and are rebuilding. Restaurants and lodging places are re-opening each week. Spring break will be quieter and smaller crowds, of course.
As I was driving in on SH 361, I saw a billboard with this message “Dear Harvey, You blow. And we’re still standing.”
The way I see it, yes indeed, Port Aransas is still standing. And as their editor, Dan Parker, said in an email on Monday, “Yep, this town took a hit. But we’ll be back. Just like Arnold Swarzenegger.”
That they are and coming back Port A Strong as the message waves on many flags on its streets.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at email@example.com or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.