Wendell Taylor of Gulfport became a Methodist minister in 1937. In this week's episode, he discusses Gulfside Assembly, a retreat for black Methodists located in Waveland.
Gulfside was founded in 1923 to provide spiritual, educational and recreational facilities to African-Americans who were denied access elsewhere because of segregation. Taylor remembers the outstanding church leaders who were educated at Gulfside.
In 2005, Gulfside Assembly was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Plans to rebuild the historic site are pending.
Alfred Brown, Junior, grew up in the historic Soria City neighborhood of Gulfport during WWII. In this episode, he describes how his father sold fish in their back yard for extra money.
Brown remembers how Soria City residents took pride their neighborhood and looked out for each other.He recounts how his father would often give away fish to those in need.
(photo is of the Soria City Lodge, recently restored)
David Hall began attending the Thirty-third Ave Elementary School in Gulfport in 1935. There were no buses for black school children then. He recalls how the teacher would help the children warm their hands on cold mornings. He also remembers one teacher who would buy lunch for students who were hungry.
As the Seventh of fourteen children, Jimmie Jenkins of Gulfport was always looking for ways to make money. He and his brother caught and sold crabs door to door as kids. Later, Jenkins worked in the kitchen of the Edgewater Hotel. After returning from the Army, he returned to kitchen work shucking oysters at Fairchild's Restaurant and finally working at Carl's Beef Bar- home of the "famous Wheel Burger."
Thomas Gonzales, Sr. was born and raised on Delacroix Island. He recounts how his family came to the area.
Gonzales also explains how his father and grandfather taught him to fish the Gulf using traditional methods brought over from Spain and why fishing was more than a way of life—it was freedom.
On Friday, August 26th, 2005, Tropical Storm Katrina passed over South Florida and entered the Gulf of Mexico. As the storm rapidly strengthened to a category five hurricane, Phyllis Genin of Bay St. Louis, MS began to prepare. In this extended version of the radio broadcast, Genin describes how she and her family rode out the storm in a small downtown office building. She also expresses the shock that they felt when they were finally able to survey the damages.
Renowned Gulf Coast artist, Walter Anderson spent the late 1930s in and out of hospitals for the treatment of severe depression. His oldest daughter, Mary Anderson Pickard remembers how her father taught himself to draw again. Pickard also recalls her father’s love of nature and history and how he shared that love with his children.
Anderson never achieved much notoriety in his lifetime. In this extended version of the original broadcast, Pickard discusses getting to know him again long after his death in 1965 through the collection he left behind.
Anderson’s collection is on display daily at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs.
Hunter Kimbrough, of Bay St. Louis, was 13 when he met his brother-in-law: noted writer and social activist, Upton Sinclair. He remembers Sinclair as nice, but a little eccentric.
In this extended version of the radio broadcast we hear many interesting details about Sinclair's dealings with the famous Russian director Sergei Eisenstein.
Kimbrough also tells the story of the day that he and Sinclair were arrested for trying to make a speech.
In 1881, Laz Lopez opened the South’s first seafood factory in Biloxi. Julius Lopez, Jr. recalls his grandfather’s rags to riches story.
At its peak, Lopez-Elmer was the largest seafood packer in the country. Lopez discusses the company’s glory days.
For over thirty-five years, Wade Guice served as the Harrison County Director of Civil Defense. His first office was a small trailer powered by an extension cord. During his time in that position, he is credited with saving countless lives during several tornados and hurricanes including Camille. Please enjoy Guice's story in his own words in this extended version of the original broadcast.
Jim Kelly of Pearlington, grew up in the nearby town of English Lookout. He recounts how English Lookout got its name and how lumber companies used schooners and tug boats to carry harvested timber down the Pearl River to Gulfport.
The logging towns that sprang up along the Pearl River often had no roads and depended on boats for mail, supplies and transportation. Kelly remembers the mail boat of Captain Boardman that ran from Logtown to English Lookout.