Monday, January 29, 2007

Miracles in Street Clothes

Rev. Samuel "Bush" Burton
Photo by Virginia Hart

When we first came to Pearlington - the "Forgotten Town" - each of us in our heart made a commitment to never allow the people of that place to be forgotten again. We have kept that promise, as the link to another story in the press (below) will attest.

We have also promised to hold dear in our hearts each and every member of the community, the ones who have struggled and even the ones who have struggled with us. We tell their stories around the continent lest they be ignored, overlooked, neglected once again. This hurricane and all the glories and tragedies of life that would have befallen them regardless, did not just happen to all of them, but to each of them as well. We tell their individual tales so that the cement of love that defines humanity holds them in our hearts forever.

Here then, are some of our stories. As you read them and as we dream of a rebuilt Pearlington, please remember that a Dream-Come-True is a miracle in street clothes and that the lives of the people of Pearlington have gifted us in greater measure.

"I was reminded this morning by your posting of Saint Peter. He is well remembered as the apostle whose faith faltered as he walked on water. What is not mentioned often enough is that he is the only one who stepped out of the boat.

I think of him often when I think of the people of Pearlington. They did not stay "safely in the boat" waiting for the government to take over their lives and "make it better." Instead, they "stepped out of the boat" and did what they could with what they had, thus attracting others to (in Pastor Rawls' words) "come alongside."

That, in my view, is the purest definition of courage."
- MaryLena Anderegg

Wendy Frost penned a very moving story on her own blog, back on March 24, 2006. It is long and contains photos, so I will refer you there:

To watch Wendy’s video of Rev. Bush Burton on YouTube, click here:

Today, I would also like to announce a new service by C.O.D.R.A. member Warren Tidwell of Alabama. Warren has created the Severe Weather Alert System for Pearlington Residents and Volunteers and will maintain a contact service and a blog, called Warren’s Weather Wisdom.

There is now a permanent link on this site and I ask that you please check out the details of the service at:

The press story, forwarded to me by John Chickering of Franklin UMC is not complete in its information and contains some glaring omissions. For instance, the rebuilding of the Ladner home doesn’t mention key people like Jennifer Johnson and the BRICK Layers of Alabama, nor Warren Tidwell etc. But, I suppose, as Oscar Wilde said: "The only bad press is NO press:"

"Those who give, receive more than they gave.
Those who receive, give more than they got."
- Jon White, Dream School, The Portal of Gratitude


At Tuesday, 30 January, 2007, Anonymous Virginia Hart said...

I spent time with Rev Bush during my Red Cross deployment in Oct 2005. His death saddens me immensely. I have many many photographs I took of him and other Pearlington residents. My website (which contains all of my Katrina photos) is and my blog (which contains Rev Bush's story) is Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like copies.


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