Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Christmas at the 'last house standing'

When Hurricane Ike hit the coastal town of Gilchrist, Texas, in September, it destroyed nearly everything in its path, save for one yellow house that grabbed nationwide attention. It was the only structure standing on the Gulf side of the town, amid a sea of devastation, thanks to a strong foundation built to meet Texas windstorm standards. That home belongs to Pam and Warren Adams, who we met through Pam's sister, Judy Hudspeth. Judy contacted the iReport team today to let us know that Pam and Warren have decorated their battered house for the holiday season. Because the area is still without electricity, a generator powers the Christmas lights. "Pam decided Gilchrist needed some Christmas spirit, so she gave it a tree and lights," Judy said. The couple was forced to move into an apartment after Ike hit, but Judy said they spend a lot of time repairing their beloved home. "Pam goes down there Friday after work and stays all weekend. Warren is down there most of the time; he's not the type to sit around an apartment all day." "They're still the only ones left down there," she said. "I think it'd be a little scary staying down there, with no one around and no power." But they are determined to fix their home, Judy added. Decorating for the holidays is just the beginning. Read CNN's coverage of the Adams' story

30 Comments
December 16, 2008
Click to view nks92907's profile

Thats awesome!

December 16, 2008
Click to view abuelhawa's profile

Keep your Spirits high! I remember our first Christmas after Katrina! It was one like no other! New Orleans was a ghost town! We did manage to get a tree for our kids. We may not have had a home, but we had Christmas in a FEMA trailer!

December 16, 2008
Click to view texasfor88's profile

What a beautiful picture! Thanks Katie for posting it. I will keep Pam and Warren in my prayers along with all of Galveston. Merry Christmas to all!

December 16, 2008
Click to view galvestongal's profile

Pam and Warren, we're working on our home on Market Street. I know it seems like the world has forgotten Galveston...but keep shining the light on those of us still struggling, and it will be better for all of us!

 

Happy Holidays!!

December 16, 2008
Click to view kh7463's profile

Best of luck to them!

December 16, 2008
Click to view byondpst's profile

Merry Christmas, Pam & Warren!  How I wish I could come down to Galveston, but I feel the infrastructure just can't handle the tourists.  Y'all are in my thoughts & prayers!

December 16, 2008
Click to view tamhg003's profile

These are the little things that bring hope to people devastated by Ike.  Please remember those in Ike's destruction zone, many in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Bridge City, and Sabine Pass still living in tents, garages, sheds, etc. through these cold times  Pray for them.

December 16, 2008
Click to view MissM69's profile

that's awesome news thanks for sharing :)

 

Happy X-mas to them and all _

December 16, 2008
Click to view pequena's profile

that's amazing-they seem to have remarkable strength and determination.  God bless them.

December 16, 2008
Click to view Hepe's profile

"...a strong foundation built to meet Texas windstorm standards..."

 

There are, I believe, two lessons here.  1) The human spirit is indomitable.  2) Never cut corners when building a house by the sea.

December 16, 2008
Click to view alwaysfaith's profile

Can you say "Faith, Hope and Courage" this shows us that we all need to be happy with what we have. No matter how little or how much. Pam and Warren thank you for showing us what Christmas is truly about. God Bless you and yours and the others that have been touched by such disasters. Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2008
Click to view galvestongal's profile

I invite everyone to come down to Galveston...if not now, then definitely in the spring. Most of the restaurants are open, and almost all of the hotels are. And cleaning crews have been working overtime--both Dickens weekend and the Lone Star Rally participants will tell you that the town is open and looking for visitors. Shopping in our stores and staying in our hotels is a great way to help.

December 16, 2008
Click to view bradford222's profile

What a waste.  These people are just publicity hounds at this point, trying to make themselves look like heroes in the darkness of everyone else's lost homes.

December 16, 2008
Click to view grantlingel's profile

its great their house made it but all this attention cuz they decorated it for the holidays? ok..

http://www.vagabondstory.com

December 16, 2008
Click to view peachykeen2's profile

What is so wrong with someone trying to put a little light and happiness into the Christmas season? A very Merry Christmas to them and a Merry Christmas to both of you too.

December 16, 2008
Click to view margiek's profile

You should understand one thing.  The quote "...a strong foundation built to meet Texas windstorm standards" completely misses the point that the damage here was done almost exclusively by surge, not wind: storm surge, waves with floating debris, and wave runup.  Storm surge like this can come again.  And building for wind is a moot point when the dwelling is on the beach.  Rebuilding only a few feet from the water, this home will continue to be extremely vulnerable to surge.  Nature does not care a whit about sentimentality or holiday spirit.  Hanging holiday lights, making a house a home, shutting the front door tight, closing the storm shutters -- just don't think any of this provides some kind of invincibility against storm surge.  If you want to build back, fine, as long as you always remember your home could be gone with another hurricane, no matter how strong you think you are rebuilding it, and that you should always evacuate when a storm threatens.

December 16, 2008
Click to view bradford222's profile

What is so wrong with it?  Tell me this - if there are no standing structures within miles, who is going to see these lights?  Well apparently everyone because they are media-whores; otherwise no one would see them.

December 16, 2008
Click to view Arcameda's profile

Your Christmas spirit is now seen by thousands of people.  Hopefully this will help encourage people to rebuild.  Storms come and go everywhere but building a community is priceless.  Happy holidays.

........http://ribbon.Arcameda.com

December 16, 2008
Click to view Kelley1's profile

bradford222...You have no ideal what you're talking about. People pass by there every day. There is only two ways to get to Bolivar. It's pass within yards of the Adams house, or the ferry from the Galveston side. You need to check out a map.

I'm sure you'll be hearing alot back, from people down there. They're all a big family. The Adams's home is like a beacon shining. Kids get so excited to see the Christmas lights, on the way to their homes. Everybody has lost so much down there.

December 16, 2008
Click to view wallyredsox's profile

Most of the news today is SO DEPRESSING!  This story made me tear up because it shows THERE IS HOPE.  God bless the Adams and I hope they are back home this time next year.  Great story!

December 16, 2008
Click to view epruetz's profile

I grew up in Gilcrist and I love seeing this.  My childhood home, including the slab, is gone, but this house represents a life that still exists in this tiny town.  For the small group of people who have called Gilcrist "home," hope is still alive.

December 16, 2008
Click to view NanD's profile

Hey Bradford222,you need to lighten up.  That's what I hate about these posts, someone like you that has to be so negative.  You must be a joy to be around.  The only publicity whore is you...posting your negativity for all the world to see.  If you are not from Galveston or the surrounding communities, you know nothing about these people or their spirit.  Don't speak of what you don't know anything about.

December 16, 2008
Click to view galvestongal's profile

Yes, Bradford222, you are a true genius. That's what we folks on the Texas coast are--media whores. Just basking in the limelight as we pick through the rubble and try and find one or two cherished mementos, a business card for an honest contractor, and maybe even a little Christmas cheer. Clearly, you don't have any of the latter, nor do you have the constitution to live through what we're living through. Please post somewhere else.

December 16, 2008
Click to view redfishb's profile

Bradford, aka Scrooge.  Our house in Crystal Beach for the most part survived Ike, and the first time, and every time that I go home I see that yellow house and it gives me just a little more strength to clean up, rebuild, and go on.  Living there was our dream come true, that house and all that it represents makes me realize that the dream is still there, and our little community will return.  We are strong people, positive and determined.  Yes, it is discouraging at times, there is so much to do.  But that is what community, friends and most of all faith are for in this life.  God Bless and Merry Christmas!  I'm putting my lights up this weekend when I go home!

December 17, 2008
Click to view Kelley1's profile

redfishb, galvestongal, NanD, epruetz ....Stop by and see Pam and Warren. They'll be there this weekend. They're hoping the power will be turned on today. She'll be putting more lights on the house. I know something's going on down there, Saturday.  A lot of the people down there are having something for Christmas. Not sure if it's a big pot luck dinner or something else. I'll have Pam post something here. I know Pam well enough, to know, she'd love to meet yall and your families. That's goes for anybody that goes down there.

December 17, 2008
Click to view islandgirl54's profile

Bradford222, your words are so hurtful, and you must lead a very sad life to think that lights on a home at Christmas time on the peninsula makes anyone a publicity hound...I happen to own the home in the picture, I did not send the picture in to IREPORT...My sister did....I spent the weekend at the beach house, and felt that it needed some Christmas cheer, so I drove to Winnie and got some lights. We decided to skip Christmas this year and not even put up a tree at our temporary apartment we are having to live in while our home is being repaired. When I returned from Winnie with the lights, my husband decided to put a tree on the side of the house in lights so all that pass can see that there was life, and hope, and encouragment still there in Gilchrist. I sent pictures to my family and friends of the lights on the house, and my sister took one of the pictures and sent it to IREPORT and the overall response of a few lights we put on the house, shining due to a generator has overwhelmed me, until your post showed up. I am noone's hero, and never have tried to be. My home would of been decorated with or without Ike, I have always decorated my home at Christmas time. I went through weeks of survivors guilt when I realize my home was still there and so many of my neighbors and friends homes were gone, I have survived that guilt, to an extent, and you and noone else is going to put me back through what I've already put myself though. We are all a very close nit community since Ike has destroyed so many life's and personal dreams on the peninsula. Ike left widespread destruction, not just to Bolivar peninsula but through several states. And if the lights I put on my home in the middle of all the destruction gives even one property owner hope, then it was well worth it...It was not done for publicity, it was done so all that pass will have something other than destruction to look at as they drive down Hwy 87.

 

Galvestongal, my heart breaks for all of us who are struggling. You and all my neighbors are in my prayers daily. Good luck on the repairs, hope your life gets back to some sort of normalcy soon. I know we will all survive this, it will only take time.

 

Redfishb, thank you so much for your kind words, the dream is still there, and the determination is still there. Bolivar will come back and our dreams will continue to make precious memories. Hang in there Hun, it will happen, I just know and feel it. God Bless you and all my neighbors on the peninsula and  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas...Can't wait to see your lights on your home - I hope everyone down there puts lights up, even if it's solar lights on pilings if that's all that is left on their properties..gotta show everyone Bolivar is alive, and we are all coming back....Hope next time you pass by you stop in - would love to meet you.

 

Everyone, please keep all our missing neighbors in your prayers, my heart goes out to their families having to go through the holiday season without closure. God Bless you for all your having to endure.

December 17, 2008
Click to view felixodeli's profile

WARREN AND PAM, first i have to thank God that you are still alive and as you know, so long as there is life, there is hope. If not for the barrier of distance, i would have invited you up here to Nigeria its a lovely place to be.But however it is, raise your shoulders high,your joy will not be once upon a time, may all the good things that come with the yuletide season be yours in Jesus name. merry xmas to you all and let us make this world a better place to live in.

December 17, 2008
Click to view islandgirl54's profile

Felix, thank you for your kind words, always remember the barrier of distance is only as far as you let it be. That's what is so great about the internet, the kind people from so many places that bring our worlds together. I wish you a Very Merry Christmas also. God Bless

December 6, 2009
Click to view caiwei's profile
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