July 29, 2006

  • I'm back!  On Thursday morning Mom and I left (rather more hastily than had been planned, due to my having overslept  ) for the Mississippi Gulf coast and the annual reunion of Gulf Park College, which was once a two-years' girls' college in Long Beach, Mississippi.  Mom kindly treated me to the trip, and we had a super time indeed.  Except, of course, for the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.    The year I attended Gulf Park was the year Camille ravaged the area, delaying the start of the school year and necessitating Saturday classes and loong classes, but the destruction was nowhere near as bad as what Katrina managed to accomplish.

    Here is Mom with one of her suitemates, class of '46, in the hospitality room at the hotel, looking through yearbooks and photos:

    Gulf Park 002

    Thursday evening we went out on a sailboat and had supper (well, except I didn't eat as the water was rather rough and I tend toward seasickness); here are Mom and Peg again:

    Gulf Park 022

    The next day the two of them headed into Ocean Springs to do some shopping, while a friend of mine from Ocean Springs drove over to Gulfport to fetch me and drive me around so I could see the area and we could visit for a few hours.  Here's John and me at his church, First Presbyterian of Biloxi (PCA):


    That afternoon we Gulf Park almunae got to go on campus (the college is now part of the University of Southern Mississippi system); here is Mom in front of a memorabilia board in the room where the GPC stuff is kept until the Heritage Room is ready for occupancy again:

    Gulf Park 047

    This is Lloyd Hall, my dorm.....if memory serves, my room was the third largish window from the left, directly left of the tree:


    One cannot go into it, naturally.  It's structurally unsound.  The storm surge rushed through the first floor of it, Hardy Hall, and the Admin building.  Most likely they'll have to be torn down, more's the pity.  A famous feature of Gulf Park is Friendship Oak, which was a sapling back when Columbus first landed in the New World:

    Gulf Park 051

    You can't tell it from this picture, but there's a large platform in the tree.  It came through the hurricane quite well, blessedly!  Isn't that something?  The buildings are trashed but many of the old oaks survived.

    Speaking of Hurricane Camille, here's a shot of a boat that had been washed up on shore, in front of a gift shop owned by a Gulf Park alumnae, Lucille Moody.  Someone (perhaps her?) painted "SS Hurricane Camille" on it.  Sadly, what Camille couldn't do, Katrina did, and the gift shop was destroyed.  I heard the boat is about to be hauled away after these 37 years:

    Gulf Park 060

    It was a terrific trip, and there was even someone who'd been at the school the same year I was, though she'd been in Elizabeth Hall, so our paths hadn't crossed.  Still, we had fun reminiscing. 

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