Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Biloxi Recalled


Sun 'n Sand Hotel Court on Hwy 90 c. 1959.
As I sit here today my mind drifts back to the many vacations I've enjoyed on the gulf coast.  My husband and I spent a week in Biloxi, Mississippi last spring refreshing our spirits and searching the landscape for our own childhood landmarks.  Sadly, most of those landmarks were blown away, if not by hurricane Camille then by Katrina.  And now my TV is blaring the news that hurricane Isaac is bearing down on my beloved gulf coast.

The Broadwater Beach Hotel c.1967
It was the trees and the broken cement piers that led us to our few remaining landmarks on that trip. It took me two days to finally get my bearings on where my childhood memories had once stood.  We began our Christmas golf vacations to Biloxi in the late 1950's and stayed at grand hotel called the Edgewater Beach.   We then returned for many more trips to a new luxury hotel called the Broadwater Beach.  There I discovered elegance in dining when the maitre d' unfolded the pink linen napkin and placed it in my lap.  For a moment I felt like Grace Kelley.

The Broadwater pier looking back at the hotel. c.1967

The sun was never brighter than in my childhood memories, even though I can tell stories about playing 36 holes on cool rainy days in December, but when I remember Biloxi, this is what I recall.

The Broadwater Beach pier looking back at misty memories. c. 2012.

The artist captures the essence of the gulf life in this broken tree.

My childhood Biloxi is gone, but the memories and stories will live forever to be shared with my friends and readers from time to time.  It will withstand Isaac and many more to come.  The people, the land populated with trees and critters will survive and new memories will be made.

Good luck Biloxi, my heart is with you.


  1. So sad not to be able to find the places from he past, yet the precious memories live on!

  2. Thanks for coloring those memories for me again. You’re right, neither Camille, nor Katrina, nor Isaac can erase those moments of time in the 50’s and 60’s, those winter days on the gulf coast, those cool gulf breezes on the golf course, and that wonderful southern hospitality. It reminds me of the lyrics that mom, dad and I wrote to Bob Hope’s famous tune:
    "Thanks for the memories, of rainy afternoons, shots in the lagoons, the callused hands, the burning feet, heels blistered like balloons.... how lovely it was”
    I might add, the long walks on the pier, swimming with the jellyfish, and of course, building castles in the sand. Thanks sis! Glad you were there with me, that made it fun...even if I was the annoying kid sister.

  3. What a beautiful story Letty. It’s amazing that we just visited NOLA and the Gulf Coast in April and I am so sad to see what mother nature has done yet again - but like you, I looked at our vacation photos last night and smiled and thought how very lucky we were to have the experience.

    1. That's why we travel: to see the world, to meet new people, to understand ourselves and the world around us, and to give us time to refresh and enjoy life. So happy you are a traveler, and creating your own memories. Thanks "bitters" for the note.

  4. To my annoying little kids sister, we did make some great memories. So glad we had each other to tramp around with and deliver such fine gifts to our parents as smelly swollen bloated puffer fish.

  5. I lived in the Gulfport/Biloxi area for twenty two years. I agree, it is hard to see so much of the place I love being destroyed, yet again.

  6. I remember that bridge and the light house!! My dad was stationed at Keesler AFB in the early 60's. Good memories!!!!