The Old Man and The Storm
~ June Cross
“Time stopped on the morning of August 29, 2005.”
~ June Cross
This program starts with the family patriarch, 82-year old Herbert Gettridge, out in his yard cleaning up from the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He has made it his mission to recreate the home he’d originally crafted more than 50 years earlier, this was literally his creation. So there was nothing in his body that was going to allow him to walk away from that. Mr. Gettridge was trying to get the house together so that he could bring his wife (Lydia Gettridge) of 60+ years home. Nobody felt comfortable bringing her back to a city where there really was no hospital, no ambulance service or anything. She suffers form congestive heart failure and diabetes, New Orleans is the only place she has ever known so it was really important for her to come back. And so, therefore, really important to Mr. Gettridge, him being a good husband and all. To make sure that she is able to get back to her home.
Officials said the area was uninhabitable but Mr. Gettridge didn’t care. I think his attitude was, well, the house withstood the water. I’ll be damned if I’m going to just walk away from it. I worked too hard to get this. He has worked since the time he was seven years old, he dropped out of school during the Depression. And had learned to work with his hands. He fought racism and diversity at work and over came it, becoming a master plasterer. He took pride in his work and it showed. He did a lot of one of a kind work, one of the houses he did work on is a historical landmark.
The Gettridge family has a lot of perseverance, love and strength he and his wife raised nine children. Only seven are living now, they have thirty-six grandchildren and many great grand children. The house is only part of his tragedy. Three generations of his family, were...