Throwing Candy

October 2, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — erickayne @ 12:32 am

Got through my first hurricane intact. Twelve days without power, but some folks in town STILL don’t have power as of Oct. 1, 2008. Crazy, huh? And this was only a category 2 hurricane (although the storm surge was equivalent to a category 4 hurricane). I spent most of my time doing local coverage here in Houston, although I did spend a little time in Galveston, Seabrook, and Kemah.

Its good that life is finally resembling some semblance of normality. I can cook in my kitchen again, take a hot shower, browse the internet in my air-conditioned bedroom. I guess it was a bit like camping, only more like getting lost and spending more time in the great outdoors than originally planned.

Ike stuff will come later. First some stuff I couldn’t post last time because it hadn’t been published yet.



Two theaters in Houston are starting to show movies in the South Indian languages of Tamil, Malayalam, and Telegu made in India’s smaller, but just as prolific as Bollywood, South Indian movie industry. There are also three new radio shows in town targeting the growing community, many of whom have come here in recent years as engineers or students.

Prasad Kalva and Damador Valluri started the Andhra Mirchi and Tamil Mirchi radio shows earlier this year to tap into the growing South Indian market in Houston.

Going by their radio names, Bablu, left, and Chanti take phone calls, play music and have contests on the Andhra Mirchi Radio show in Houston. The show, which took nine months to get from idea to air time, has been on the radio for the last four months.

During the rehabilitation and discharge from the hospital, I got to spend a little time with a family that was inside the bus that crashed in Sherman, TX resulting in 17 fatalities.

The Bui family, all five of whom were in the Sherman bus crash Aug. 8. Three were seriously injured; the two youngest children were banged up but didn’t spend inpatient time in the hospital. Thiep Bui, the father, and Matthew Bui, his 15-year-old son, both eventually left the Dallas hospital where they’ve been doing therapy for the past week. They leave behind Thui Tran, the mother, who is still in Baylor’s ICU, although improving modestly.  The next day, Thiep was sent home while his son was to remain at the hospital for further rehabilitation and observation.

Physical Medicine Tech Barbara Martinez works with Thiep Bui by gently attempting to get Bui to bend his damaged right knee as he recuperates at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, TX.

Physical therapist Craig Vanderlaan tests Matthew Bui’s vestibular system, or equilibrium. Bui had issues with his balance and nausea when trying to complete certain exercises.

Matthew Bui, center, works with Chris Comstock during a physical therapy sessions.

Thiep Bui is visited by two of his children, James, 9, and Katherine, 12,  at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, TX. Theip told his kids to be good and behave while he was back home in Houston.

Matthew Bui and Minh Nguyen, an uncle, look at a get-well card from the Cy Fair High School marching band, of which Matthew is a member. “BFND” is an acronym for Bobcat Fight Never Dies.

Thiep Bui is led to a waiting van after being discharged from Baylor Hospital .

Lan Bui takes a photograph of the “Bui men,” from left Minh Nguyen, a brother-in-law of Thiep, Lih Vu, a cousin, Thiep Bui, The Bui and Thuan Bui in the hospital parking lot after Theip’s discharge from Baylor Hospital in Dallas, TX.

Thiep Bui, left, back in Houston at his parent’s home after an extended hospital stay, is quizzed by his father about his knee injury.

Kempner’s RB Julius White (5) makes a pass and continues to run within one yard of the goal line in the first quarter against Pearland.

Clara Ortiz Torres, from Columbia, is a student at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Emanuel Daniel, 10, plays around with his clarinet without a mouthpiece after performing at HISD headquarters during a presentation of of $450,000 worth of musical instruments.  Students from Lovett Elementary performed for those in attendance.

Debris lines the southbound lanes of I-45 after Hurricane Ike struck the area the night before, Sept. 12, 2008.

Chris Symank leaves his flooded jeep after checking on a friend’s house in Seabrook after Hurricane Ike struck in the night. Symank said he forgot the road dips down when he felt his jeep start to float.

B. J. Gabbert helps friends David Richey and Wesley Lichenstein recover Richey’s outboard motor from his sailboat at an apartment complex in El Lago after Hurricane Ike passed through the area the night before.

Sam DiMiceli visits the dock of his waterfront property for the first time after Hurricane Ike struck two days earlier in Bacliff, TX. DiMiceli said he was the contractor for the house he started building in February. He finished painting it a week and a half ago and planned to use it as a retirement home. The first floor of the home was destroyed while the top two floors were virtually unscathed.

The music is over for a piano washed up onto TX-146 near Seabrook in the wake of Hurricane Ike in Seabrook, TX.

Karen Gerdes of La Marque cleans debris from the front yard of her house after Hurricane Ike passed in the night. “This is the third hurricane this house has been through,” she said when asked about her plywood message covering a window of her house. Noting that the only real damage to her house was some brush and a backyard fence, Gerdes said, “we did okay, we did okay.”

Gary Corley nurses a cut on his arm received while salvaging items from his destroyed home.

Paramedics Ricky Hellwig, left, from Lufkin, Jason Stuck, also from Lufkin and Garrett Hoskins of Huntsville play hearts as they wait for an assignment in the wake of Hurricane Ike in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. The paramedics noted they had not been assigned to help out in any areas  and have been waiting for three days to help those in need.

Sabrina Perez points down a hallway with weather damage from Hurricane Ike at Braesridge Senior Complex in Houston. Perez, a caretaker, was at the complex to check up on her client Carolyn Moss. Many seniors have been stranded at the Braesridge Senor Complex. Neighbors have come together to help each other out.

Sheryl Knotts, center, and Terry Kreid, right, get ready to deliver meals to their neighbors while navigating through darkened hallways at Braesridge Senior Complex in Houston, TX. Meals were cooked by another neighbor, Sylvia June, left, under a carport. Many seniors have been stranded at the Braesridge Senior Complex. Neighbors have come together to help each other out.

Sheryl Knotts, left, and Terry Kreid get ready to deliver meals to their neighbors.

Terry Kreid tries to read a map of the complex.

Terry Kreid delivers a meal to her neighbor Artelia Ross.

Resident Alma McNack shows the battery-powered television set her son gave her inside her bedroom at the Braesridge Senior Complex.

Tom Slack looks at sewage water pouring out of pipes below the group of condos where he and his wife live in Houston. The Slack’s, who live in condos off of Woodway, noticed sewage backing up after Ike passed through, some of it allegedly into Buffalo Bayou.

William Atkins, 64 and blind, helps elderly and disabled neighbors with chores and errands in a Hurricane-disabled high rise, Sept. 19, 2008 in Houston, TX.

(Note to blog readers: The high-rise managers were media-unfriendly. I know what you’re thinking: This would have made a wonderful story. I agree, but sometimes these are the brakes.)

Rabbi Roy Walter follows along with members of Congregation Emanu El as they perform Selichot, a service held to ask God for forgiveness before the Jewish High Holidays. The congregation used flashlights during the service because of a power outage due to Hurricane Ike.

Sarah Orsack, right, and her mother Carol, center, follow along with  the service.

Ann Frohbieter plays piano for the congregation.

Robin Beckwith, right, follows along with the service.

Capt. Les Cain, a towboat operator for Buffalo Marine. The company was involved in helping corral a Rickmers Vessel that broke loose at the height of Hurricane Ike in the Turning Basin at the Port of Houston. The reason that Buffalo Marine had towboat operators even in the vicinity at that time of night is that it was responsible for a tanker nearby that was carrying 50,000 barrels of oil. So as part of the company’s emergency plan, they were there to secure the tanker. Several tugs helped get the Rickmers Seoul vessel secured after it broke loose, and a Houston Pilot also was called out to board the vessel. Not only could it have hit the tanker, but it could have taken out at least part of the 610 bridge because the storm surge had made the water level rise so much, the coast guard said.

Leslie Nolan stands in front of the truck his friend George Helmond was found dead in before it is towed away in Galveston. Helmond’s body was left in the truck three days until it was finally taken away. Allegedly, Helmond was trying to flee during the height of Hurricane Ike as it swept over Galveston Island.

George Helmond, the only confirmed drowning victim on Galveston Island, died after he panicked while riding out the storm at home and tried to escape the rising storm water in his pickup truck. Leslie Nolan was his neighbor and life-long friend. They both went to electrician’s school together and had known each other for decades.

Galveston police officer Chad Powers, right, and Shenandoah police officer Mike Ruby, center, question a 16 year-old suspect as they help enforce the curfew in Galveston. The curfew in Galveston is now 8 pm to 6 am.

Stephany Brown ties a bandana around the face of her aunt, Sarah Horn, before they enter the destroyed bottom floor of her aunt’s apartment at the Oleander Homes. Horn has lived in the complex 27 years and will be staying with a relative. “No one expected this,” Brown said of the devastation.

Residents salvage what they can at the Oleander Homes public housing in Galveston. The whole complex has been evicted and has 10 days to gather their belongings. Complex workers have screwed shut all screen doors with a phillips head screw. All residents seeking to enter their apartments will need to bring a screwdriver.

Stephany Brown helps her blind aunt enter Horn’s apartment on the destroyed bottom floor at the Oleander Homes.

Shante Horn, 17, sprays disinfectant at her and her mother’s apartment on the destroyed bottom floor.

Shante Horn, 17, is handed family photos by her cousin Stephany Brown at the apartment of Brown’s aunt, Sarah Horn.

Catherine Malone, holding her great-granddaughter Veruschka Matthews, 9 months, is emotional outside her destroyed apartment at the Oleander Homes public housing in Galveston. Malone said “I don’t have no help. No husband, no boyfriend, no son.” The drawings in the background are of her deceased daughter and mother, who died within six months of each other, her daughter a victim of murder.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, leader of the Houston/Galveston archdiocese, embraces one of his flock at St. Patrick Parish on the first Sunday since the return of residents to Galveston.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: