Last Updated 21 Mar 2021

The Old Man and the Storm

Category The Storm
Essay type Research
Words 606 (2 pages)
Views 303

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.

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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 scattered across the country in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His family has been in New Orleans for over five generations. It’s very possible that the Gettridge house is on land that his ancestors had once worked as slaves. His family of 200 people or so, all lived within fifteen-minute drive from each other and would still get together for holidays and to celebrate things they were a close knit family.

Mr. Gettridge with the help, support, and sacrifice of volunteers, and charities finishes his house against the huge odds he faced. Lydia is brought home by one of her daughters just before July fourth of 2007. A year and a half after the flood. She is disoriented when she arrives from a stroke she had suffered. She doesn't recognize the house she left and says she wants to leave. Mr. Gettridge tries to lighten the mood with his since of humor telling he she looks as beautiful as she did when she was sweet sixteen. However, she’s not buying it.

Only when their children and grand children start visiting them for the up coming forth of July festivities does Mrs. Gettridge start to feel as if this is her home again. Mr. Gettridge was asked if he had to do it all over again, would he? He answers, “I’m kinda skeptical about that now. Once upon a time I could answer that question in a split second for you. I can’t do that now”. He’s a man of incredible determination and incredibly stubborn. But, He’s been worn down. There’s just so much you can do at 84 to start over again. It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

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The Old Man and the Storm. (2017, Apr 09). Retrieved from

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