tsmithjohnson (tsmithjohnson) wrote,
tsmithjohnson
tsmithjohnson

REPOST 5/9: BHM TRIBUTE: I LOVE MY FAMILY-MRS. BEULAH MAE ROWE-FAMILY HEROIC TALE, PT 4B


I HAVE SPENT THE LAST TWO WEEKS TRYING TO FIND A HOME THAT RESEMBLED THE HOME WE WERE LIVING IN WHEN HURRICANE CARLA BROUGHT HER RECORD-BREAKING 173 MPH WINDS AND OVER 100 SPAWNED TORNADOES THROUGH THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS AND SURROUNDING STATES WHILE COMING THROUGH THE GULF OF MEXICO; AND, FINALLY DISSIPATING IN CANADA!
I FINALLY DECIDED THIS ONE COMES CLOSE...THIS HOUSE IS THE BEST RESEMBLANCE I'VE FOUND ON THE INTERNET, SO FAR.

I COULD POINT OUT THE DIFFERENCES; LIKE THE FACT THAT THE STAIRS OF OUR HOME DID NOT HAVE THE STONE WALLED SIDES AND LANDSCAPED FRONT YARD; AND THERE WASN'T A STEEPLE ON THE ROOF.  HOWEVER, THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS HOME LOOKS VERY SIMILAR TO OUR FRONT DOOR, FRONT RIGHT WINDOW (GRANDMOTHER'S BEDROOM WINDOW),  COLUMNED PORCH AND "GENERAL" STRUCTURE OF OUR HOME...OUR HOME HAD A LONG DRIVEWAY ON THE LEFT WHICH COULD HAVE EASILY PARKED THREE TO FOUR MEDIUM-SIZE CARS, IF NECESSARY; AND, OUR HOME SAT FAR BACK INTO THE LOT; NOT CLOSE TO THE STREET CURB...OUR FRONT YARD COULD HAVE BEEN CONVERTED INTO A SMALL CIRCULAR DRIVE WHICH CURVED FROM THE STREET TO THE DOOR AND BACK; THAT'S HOW BIG OUR FRONT YARD WAS...BUT, MY FOCUS IS ON THE SIZE OF THE HOUSE ITSELF...IT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST HOMES ON THE STREET...AND, THERE WAS A SMALL TREE GROWING ON THE LEFT OF THE DRIVEWAY...IT SEEMED TO SERVE AS SORT OF A "PROPERTY-LINE MARKER" BETWEEN OUR HOME AND THE ONE NEXT DOOR...FOR SOME REASON, THERE WAS NO FENCE AT THE FRONT OF THE PROPERTY ON THE LEFT UNTIL MIDWAY INTO THE LOT.  BUT, THIS TREE WAS A CLEAR BOUNDARY UNTIL THE FENCE BEGAN.

I ALSO, DURING THAT TWO WEEKS, SUDDENLY "GOT THE BRIGHT IDEA" TO TRY TO SKETCH A PICTURE OF THE HOME BEFORE I BEGAN LOOKING FOR IT ON THE INTERNET.  I MEAN, IT HAS BEEN OVER TWENTY (20) YEARS SINCE I LAST SAW IT; AND IT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE VISUALIZATION OF THE INCIDENT.  IT'S IMPORTANT THAT IT BE UNDERSTOOD
THAT, I BELIEVE, THE SHEER SIZE OF THE HOME PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE RESULTING IMPACT OF THE HURRICANE AND TORNADOES ON US PERSONALLY AS FAR AS PHYSICAL; AS WELL AS, PROPERTY DAMAGE.   IN ANY CASE, I DECIDED I WOULD TRY TO VISUALIZE IT IN MY MIND FIRST; SO, I JUST GRABBED A SHEET OF PAPER AND STARTED DRAWING WITH MY PEN...
NOW, I AM NOT AN ARTIST IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR MEANING OF THE WORD (SMILE); AND, I WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE TO ADMIT THAT...BUT, FOR SOME REASON, I FELT COMPELLED TO TRY TO DRAW THE HOME WHICH WAS A CRUCIAL PART OF THIS STORY. NOTICE THAT WALNUT CREEK RUNS BEHIND OUR HOME...HOWEVER, THE CREEK RARELY SEEMED TO HAVE WATER FLOWING ON A REGULAR BASIS.  WE DEFINITELY NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT FLOODING; BECAUSE WE RARELY SAW WATER IN IT ALL YEAR LONG...IT WAS AN AREA IN WHICH, AS KIDS, WE USED TO USE TO GO BETWEEN THE HOUSES....AS SHORTCUTS...BECAUSE IT SEEMED LIKE JUST A DRY DITCH OF GRASS MOST OF THE TIME..YOU SEE, IT WASN'T DUG OUT AS IT IS TODAY....TODAY, IT HAS BEEN REMODELED WITH CEMENT FOUNDATIONS; BUT, THEN, IT WAS A  SLIGHTLY INCLINING,  DRY,  CREEK BED.... YOU SEE, OUR HOME ON WEBBERVILLE ROAD IN EAST AUSTIN WAS THE FIRST HOME MY FATHER BOUGHT FOR HIS FAMILY.  HE AND HIS MOTHER, MY GRANDMA BEULAH, DECIDED TO JOIN TOGETHER TO SIGN FOR THE PURCHASE OF OUR FIRST HOME!  WE HAD GONE FROM
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HOUSING AT THE  HISTORIC  "BOOKER T WASHINGTON HOUSING PROJECT
TO OUR FIRST HOME AT 1704 WEBBERVILLE ROAD - "21"
HERE IS MY ATTEMPT AT A SKETCH OF THE HOME...DON'T LAUGH..

THERE WAS A MIRRORED PORTAL OVER THE FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENED UP TO A 9 TO 10 FT CEILINGED HALLWAY....
FRENCH DOORS LED FROM THE PARLOR TO MY PARENT'S BEDROOM..THE CHILDRENS' BEDROOM COMPLETED THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HOUSE; AND THE FORMAL DINING AREA, KITCHEN, AND BATHROOM COMPLETED THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOUSE....HUGE BACKYARD AND RIGHT SIDE FENCE COMLETED THE LOT....WE REALLY LOVED AND ENJOYED THIS HOME; BEFORE AND AFTER HURRICANE CARLA FOR OVER 25 MORE YEARS...



MRS. BEULAH MAE ROWE: FAMILY HEROIC TALE: MIRACLE #2

PLEASE VIEW THE "NEW VIDEO" EXPLAINING THE SKETCH INSERTED BELOW :



AS YOU CAN SEE, MY GRANDMA'S FRONT BEDROOM WINDOW GAVE HER A PERFECT VIEW OF THE FRONT YARD AND WEBBERVILLE ROAD PEDESTRIANS AND AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC.  SHE TOLD ME SHE ENJOYED LOOKING OUT THAT WINDOW EVERY MORNING BECAUSE SHE, A RETIRED WIDOW, COULD KEEP UP WITH WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD RIGHT FRONT WHILE LYING IN BED, READING, LOOKING AT TELEVISION, AND, WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY.  SO, WHEN SHE HEARD ABOUT THE HURRICANE AND ACCOMPANYING SEVERE WEATHER, SHE HAD MADE UP HER MIND TO STAY UP TO WATCH OUT HER WINDOW FOR THE WATER.  WHEN THE WATER KEPT GOING BELOW THE GRASS/GROUND SURFACE; ONLY TO CONTINUOUSLY RISE EVEN HIGHER; SHE DECIDED TO WAKE THE WHOLE FAMILY AND ENCOURAGED MY PARENTS TO GET ME AND MY BROTHER DRESSED SO WE COULD LEAVE TO GO TO HIGHER GROUND.

I REMEMBER LOOKING OUT HER WINDOW AS WE GATHERED TO THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE; TRYING TO THINK OF WHAT WE NEEDED TO TAKE AND/OR LEAVE; NOT KNOWING HOW LONG IT WOULD BE BEFORE WE COULD RETURN.  HOWEVER, I DIDN'T HAVE ANY PARTICULAR FEELING OF DANGER AND FEAR WHILE WE WERE GETTING READY BECAUSE THE WATER WAS RISING; BUT, I HAVE NO MEMORIES AND REMEMBER NO REAL THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS THAT WE WERE ANY "REAL" DANGER.  WE HAD DECIDED TO CHECK WITH MY MOTHER'S PARENTS AND SEE HOW THEY WERE DOING; AND, WE DECICED TO HEAD OVER THERE....WHERE MY SISTER, CAROLYN, WAS...THAT WAY, WE COULD ALL BE TOGETHER; AND, HAVE A LARGER GROUP OF FAMILY MEMBERS TO HELP "RIDE OUT THE STORM"...THERE HAD NOT BEEN CALLS FOR THE AUSTIN AREA TO EVACUATE; AND, WE EXPECTED THE USUAL SEVERE WEATHER; MAYBE A TORNADO MIGHT TOUCH DOWN NEAR US; BUT, VERY RARELY DID A TORNADO ACTUALLY STAY ON THE GROUND FOR LONG....AT LEAST IN MY LIFETIME....WE MUST HAVE BEEN IN THE "EYE" OF THE STORM OR TORNADO DURING THIS "LULL" TIME; BUT, IT WAS VERY DECEPTIVE...WE HAD NO IDEA THE EXTENT OF WHAT WE ABOUT TO ENDURE.....

YOU SEE,  WHEN WE FINALLY STEPPED OUT THE DOOR ONTO OUR PORCH, THE WATER WAS BELOW THE GROUND, WE COULDN'T EVEN SEE IT...BUT, WHEN MY FATHER LED US INTO THE FRONT YARD, WITH MY MOTHER, BROTHER, GRANDMOTHER, AND ME FOLLOWING...THERE WAS A SUDDEN "ROARING SOUND" AND THE WATER WENT FROM BELOW THE GROUND SURFACE TO ALMOST KNEE-HIGH IN SECONDS....

MY FATHER, 28 YRS OLD, STANDING ABOUT 6' 1", GRABBED MY BROTHER AND THREW HIM HIGH ONTO HIS SHOULDERS; MY MOTHER, 26 YRS OLD AND 5' 2",  GRABBED ME AND THREW ME ON HER SHOULDERS; THEN, ALONG WITH MY GRANDMOTHER, THEY BEGAN RUNNING TOWARD THE RIGHT BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT "WEBBERVILLE ROAD" DID HAVE SOME PARTS OF IT WHICH HAD STEEPER INCLINES OR HILLS WE COULD RUN UP OR CLIMB TO GET TO HIGHER GROUND; INCLUDING MEANDER DRIVE"; WHICH WAS THE CLOSEST "HILLED" AREA WE MAY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET TO FOR HELP.  WE SUDDENLY REALIZED THAT THE WAY THE STORM WAS RUNNING, WE WERE BASICALLY SITTING IN A "VALLEY"; THE WATER WAS RUNNING DOWN UPON US FROM THE SURROUNDING HILLY STEETS; AND THE WIND WAS THROWING ALL TYPES OF DEBRIS IN THE AIR...

THEN, I REMEMBER SEEING MY FATHER AND BROTHER IN FRONT OF ME AND MY MOTHER SEEM TO REACH A HIGHER GROUND; NOT REALIZING THAT THE WATER, WHICH HAD RISEN TO ALMOST WAIST-DEEP FOR MY FATHER NOW, HAD RECEDED AT THAT MOMENT; AND, WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET TO SAFETY AT MOMENT....BUT, IT WAS NOT TO BE.....

THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS ROAR OF WIND AND TORRENTIAL WATERS WHICH SLAMMED AGAINST MY PARENTS AS THEY STRUGGLED TO HOLD ON TO MY BROTHER (7 YRS) AND I (8 YRS); MY FATHER TURNED TO SEE HOW MY MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER, AND I WAS DOING WHEN SUDDENLY THE WATER ROSE UP ALMOST TWICE AS HIGH AS IT HAD BEFORE; AND,

BEFORE I KNEW IT....I WAS KNOCKED OFF MY MOTHER'S SHOULDERS AND WAS HURLED DOWNSTREAM TOWARD WALLER CREEK.......

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I DO REMEMBER HEARING MY MOTHER SCREAMING...

"OH NO....MY BABY....MY BABY.....MY BABY....MY BABY....."

AS I WAS BEING HURLED WITH THE FURY OF THE WINDS AND TORRENTIAL RAINS

TOWARD WALLER CREEK AND ETERNITY

BUT, DON'T FORGET, MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A HERO THAT NIGHT...

MY NEXT POST, PART 4, WILL TELL YOU HOW SHE HELPED TO SAVE MY LIFE......
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
P.S.  I DECIDED TO POST THIS RIGHT NOW (AND UPDATE IT WITH A VIDEO LATER) BECAUSE I HAVE HAD SUCH A GREAT RESPONSE FROM MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND READERS ABOUT THE "I LOVE MY FAMILY" POSTS; AND, I ENJOY DOING THEM BECAUSE IT'S A PERSONAL TRIBUTE.  BUT, THEY ARE VERY TIME CONSUMING AND REQUIRE EXTENSIVE RESEARCH FOR PICTURES AND OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST; SO, I HOPE YOU WILL ALL BE PATIENT WITH ME AS I TRY TO DOCUMENT OUR FAMILY STORIES IN A WAY THAT I WILL BE PROUD TO SHARE WITH OTHERS; ESPECIALLY MY CHILDREN (3 ) , GRANDCHILDREN (13), AND GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN (1) IN YEARS TO COME!!
PLEASE LOOK, LEARN, LIKE, COMMENT AND SHARE THIS POST.....THANKS....
Tags: 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2011-2019, american history/culture, black american history/culture, christianity-religion news, civil rights leaders, facebook, flickr, google+, i love my family, instagram, international/world news, linkedin, livejournal, pinterest, political news, qlip, skype, texas history/culture, tumblr, twitter

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments