Along the Lake
By: Janelle Perrin
When I began the job last year of writing an article for the Link, I decided to refrain from calling our area "Eight on the Lake." At that time, I think there were about 13 or so residences, so to continue referring to our area as "eight on the lake" seemed a misnomer. Wow! What a difference a year makes! Just as with all of Big Lake, our small stretch along the lake has really changed. Unfortunately "eight on the lake" is closer to reality now than it was a year ago.
Despite many problems, folks along the lake are rebuilding and improving their little patch of Big Lake Heaven. Billy and Carol Hardeman's house was newly completed when the storm hit. They have been able to get things back in order pretty well, and their house and wharf are looking in pre-Rita condition.
Tim Litel is in the process of redoing his place, and he is adding on a little at the same time he is having it repaired. The house is not only sporting additional enclosed space at the ground level, but he is adding a little to the upstairs living area as well. The house looks great with its new white windows and trim and new seafoam green siding. It is a shame that Tim lost all os his landscaping, but the house is really coming along well.
Jamie Bice and his brother Jay Bice lost their camp to Rita's wrecking crew. That little house was so cute and such a landmark: it is sad to see just a slab in its place. In keeping with their positive attitude, however, there is an American flag at the base of the slab. Jamie reports that the number one priority is to build a nice wharf this summer, and to build a camp next year. Fishing is definitely a priority!
It was sad to see that Karen and Craig Holston also lost their place. We all mourn the loss of the home of the infamous New Year's parties. Think of the memories that were lost when the walls came down. Man! If walls could talk!
Mary and Jeff Poe's new duplex for housing their sports looks wonderful. It seems like everytime I go by there I notice some new touch - like the beautiful flowers that enhance the front of it. I am so glad "outsiders" can enjoy their stay in a wonderful house along the lake. Since Mary and Jeff's little yellow house was completely blown away by Rita, I am glad they had the duplex survive!
Dr. Fayez Shamieh took advantage of having to repair his home by adding some very nice touches to it. Adding arched brick columns to the ground level has given the structure a nice "New Orleans" look. The change of color for the upstairs area also made a big difference. Completing the outside renovation is darling trim. Take time to check it out!
Michael Veron has completed repairs on the inside of his home, and the outside is almost completed at the time of this writing. He, like so many others, took advantage of a bad situation by changing from vinyl to Hardy plank siding. The camp is now a wonderful blue, so more than just the siding material has been changed.
The residence of Olin Clark is being redone. Olin's house looked like it took a very hard hit, but the rebuiing process is going well. It is hoped that he will be back in the house in a matter of two or three months.
One home that is completely repaired belongs to Miles and Kathy Mitchem. Since Big Lake is their primary residence, they got busy and got the work done on their home and wharf. Since Miles and Kathy had such wonderful landscaping prior to the storm, it is nice to see their home looking as beautiful as it did last year.
Although they lost everything on the ground floor of their camp, Janell and Hunter Perrin have been slowly getting the work done on their camp. The work has gone slowly, but slow is "normal" in this post-Rita world. The materials for rebuilding the wharf have been delivered as of this writing, but so far the work on the wharf has not begun. The fact that everything has not been completed is not stopping them from having Mary Frances and John Bryan, friends from Jackson, Mississippi, visit them over the Fourth.
The determination people have shown in getting their lives back to "normal" along the lake is very promising. Big Lake is such a wonderful place, and it holds such a special place in our hearts. Even those who lost everything speak dearly of our community. Rita was a mean, heartless woman, but she was no match for Big Lake folks! God bless America and Big Lake!
Poop from the Point