Jimmy and Linda Desporte enjoyed five years in a Back Bay waterfront dream home on D'Iberville property that had been in the family for 85 years.|
The house and lovingly tended, colorful yard were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Now the Desportes live in a rebuilt shed/workshop which was behind the two-story home. They bide their time on rebuilding to see what happens with casinos, condos and elevation regulations.
"At least we're not in a FEMA trailer," said Linda.
"My momma's pride and joy is her yard," said daughter Terry Desporte Fetters. "She puts her heart and soul into every plant."
The gardens were so gorgeous that brides would come to their home for wedding pictures. Tour boats on Back Bay would pull up so tourists could take pictures. Katrina left only the house steps.
"The storm just left debris that belonged to somebody else," said Linda.
"All my garden tools, big and small, were waiting for me. That gave me hope. I knew I should be gardening."
She continues to use those tools as "the gardener" at her church, Heritage United Methodist. Sheila Gillies, Heritage's outreach leader, believes "Linda best serves the Lord by making everything beautiful. She sees Him in everything that grows."
Linda doesn't expect husband Jimmy to move off the water because he loves to fish, crab and just sit on the pier to watch the sun go down.
"How many families can just go out in the back yard and go speckled trout fishing," he said.
The family has run Desporte's Biloxi Paper Co.-Office Supply since 1971.
"We're one of the few mom and pop operations still left," Linda said.
"We definitely want to rebuild. We're not ready to start right now. We're emotionally drained. And we know we'll have to do a lot of the work ourselves."
The family would like to keep up the three-generation heritage at 3213 St. Charles St. So do others who appreciate a flower garden.