Brad and Randy pick me up at the hospital the next morning, crutches and all, and we head off to meet Mac Windsor, Rick Smith and R. E. “Bubba” Brousard to drive to Bayou Vista, which is a mess and I even have to show my owner’s card to the National Guardsman to get us in.
My street is clear and when we arrive at the house, there is no boat parked there. There’s a trailer, but no boat. Everything on the ground floor is gone, the fridge, the toilet, the freezer and strangely, the only wall left downstairs, has all ten of my fishing rods still hung on it.
I’m on crutches, so Randy collects my rods, and Bubba and Brad check the second floor and find no damage. The water did rise up to eleven feet and barely covered the floor ruining the carpet, which can be replaced. But where is the boat?
As if on cue, Mick Wilson, my next door neighbor, and chief pilot for a major airline, walks over and says, “I heard your boat was over on Pompano Street in a vacant lot. Looks like you had your surgery at a bad time. Everything OK? Want a drink?” “No thanks. As good as it can be,” I reply as we load up and head 4 streets over to, hopefully, find my boat.
Sure enough, 4 streets over, my boat, a twenty foot, deep vee, is resting on its side in a vacant lot. Close inspection shows that the windshield is broken and there is a twelve inch hole about six inches below the water line on the right side. We have to get it back, all fifteen hundred pounds of it, on the trailer and pull it back to Houston so I can get it fixed.
There is all kinds of scrap wood, debris from the storm, laying around and Bubba and Brad devise a roller/lever contraption to scoot the boat to the edge of the bulkhead. We stuff some loose bedding into the hole in the side, and all, including me, push the boat over the bulkhead and into the canal. The motor starts on the first try, and with water leaking steadily into the boat, Bubba and Brad speed back to my house. Of course, there is a 5 MPH speed limit in the canals, and wouldn’t you know it, some guy shouts at them, “Hey, watch that wake!” If they stop or go slow they sink, so they keep speeding back to the launch ramp at our house!
We get the boat on the trailer and tie it down and head back to Houston. I spent the rest of that day and evening sitting on a stool in my garage, cleaning my fishing tackle and by 9:00 PM my knee has swelled up to twice its normal size. I finally figure that I should go to bed, elevate my knee and stay off of it for a couple of days.
My knee healed fine and I was back to playing softball three weeks to the day from the surgery. The boat repairs were over $3,000.00. Bayou Vista was without power for two weeks and the full time residents had a real rough time. The Masters, one of the co-owners of the beach house, went into a messy divorce and after I traded Jerry Masters out of my portion of the house, it finally went back to the mortgage company.
Another interesting note. In 1989 Layla and I were trying to find a house in Bayou Vista and the old house, now in pretty bad repair, was back with the mortgage company. We placed a $60K offer on it and we later heard that the “good ole’ boys” won this one and that the bankers friend got a real good deal on it.