Last month I had to leave you hanging right in the middle of a Hurricane Harvey story concerning the fate of friends of us all, (see story) Mike O’Neill and his sweetheart Julie. Mike and Julie moved to Rockport, Texas a couple of years ago to enjoy retirement on the coast. As you all know, Rockport was right at the epicenter of Hurricane Harvey.
Originally, Harvey was not the most menacing of hurricanes, so Mike thought they might ride out the storm for the adventure. Harvey quickly became a very menacing hurricane, so they changed their minds and grabbed what they could and headed to Mike’s brother’s home in San Antonio. This decision proved to be a good one because Mike and Julie were safe and sound while Rockport was being hit by one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the United States!
At the same time Hurricane Harvey was moving on to shore, it was also the deadline for stories to be turned in, so all I could report on was what I just repeated in the two paragraphs above. Mike and Julie were safe, but they had to turn around a few days later and see if they had anything left of their home and belongings.
We are all aware of the damage that was done on our coastline, as well as quite far inland, and Mike and Julie saw it first-hand. Miles and miles of destruction and heartbreak and the understanding that it would take years to rebuild lives and structures. All around the neighborhood, homes were destroyed or damaged severely, trees were down, boats were destroyed and sunk, power lines were all over the ground, and grief was abundant. Miraculously, when Mike and Julie reached their property, they were very much surprised at how well their little piece of the Redneck Riviera had been spared.
Their RV was standing and dry, the deck still in one piece, their shed intact, and their boat parked where they had left it. Besides trees in their yard being down, the only damage was a dent in the cowling of the boat’s motor. Yes, there was a mess to clean up, but that was something Mike and Julie were happy to tackle.
Their neighbors, as I mentioned, didn’t have it so good. In fact, Mike said he felt somewhat guilty that their place had withstood what many other places couldn’t withstand. Mike and Julie jumped right into helping those very neighbors, being so thankful they were able to do so.
From all of us here in North Texas and around the world that love you guys so much, we are also thankful that you two came through such a terrifying storm so well.
P. S. In last month’s article, I also mentioned that Mike was expecting a vintage guitar amplifier on the evening before Harvey hit. Those of us that know Mike know very well of the importance of this delivery. I’m happy to announce that he finally received that amplifier, so now he can get back to playing guitar like no one else!