Henry and Lu Fly bought beachfront property at 984 Beach Boulevard, Bay St. Louis, in 1972 after Hurricane Camille and designed and built a neat split-level home "just the right size for them," set back in the trees.|
"They wanted it to be natural and blend in with the woods and it did for 33 years," said their daughter, Liz Perkinson.
Then came Hurricane Katrina, which pushed in 20-25 feet of water and wiped out the home.
"There was nothing left but a slab," said Perkinson. "My folks lost everything except what they took when we evacuated. It washed away, probably into the Gulf of Mexico."
They had a lot of antique furniture, Lu's watercolor paintings and plenty of family memories. "We found my brother's bronze baby shoes but we'll never get other family things back. Fortunately, children and grandchildren have some copies," said Perkinson.
The Flys and their daughter evacuated north and east to Menge Avenue. "Dad and I wanted to experience the hurricane but didn't want to die in the experience," said Perkinson.
Henry, 92, is a former attorney with the Small Business Administration. Lu, 90, retired as a program director with Human Services. She still does the cooking, and he walks his dog several times a day "and was still mowing the grass."
They are building a cottage-style panel home on Main Street. "They have always liked Old Town and it's one of the highest elevation points and fared well in the storm," said Perkinson. "They love a sense of community."
They hope to move from Diamondhead, where they relocated, into their new factory-built cottage in three months. "They're not materialistic and have adjusted well," said Perkinson. "They feel people are more important."
Henry and Lu met at Ole Miss, where he was in law school, and she was a cheerleader. They have been married for 62 years.