Bill and Bobbie Goodell were living in Houston when they received a call from a friend who'd heard a house in Waveland was for sale. The Goodells rushed to the small town in Hancock County, checked out the house and before the weekend was up, 203 Sears Avenue was theirs. |
That was in 1973 and in 1975 they moved permanently into what had been, since the Great Depression, a weekend camp, as many homes in Waveland were. Bill, an oil company accountant, commuted to New Orleans, then eventually retired.
"I'm very sentimental about that house. We had good times there," said Bobbie Goodell. "Neighbors would come over and we'd do things together on the weekends. There was a canopy on the beach that the neighborhood would share."
As for the house, "It was a typical old-style Coast home with a wide hallway down the middle and rooms down each side, a front porch and a big room or porch on the back," she said. "When we got it, there wasn't any hot water in the house.
"The hallway was so big we'd use it as a living room."
And always, they relished the sea breezes and the laid-back style that drew many to Waveland, either permanently or for affordable weekend homes near the Gulf.
"If my husband kept a cedar trimmed, we could see the beach from the front porch."
In the three decades the Goodells lived in the 1,400-square-foot house, the town increased in permanent residents.
"My husband says the reason we liked Waveland was because it wasn't exciting. We'd both spent a lot of time living in New Orleans and we'd had enough excitement. "Waveland is Old South, not lazy but just nice living, peaceful."
After Katrina took their home, the Goodells moved to Standard to live with family.
"We're lucky," she said. "We're happy as clams in Standard, but Waveland is our home. "Honestly, we don't know what we will do. The city, FEMA and all the powers that be are not yet telling us what the restrictions will be. And what will insurance cost? As retired people we have to take that into consideration, but we're not going to just up and sell the land."
- KAT BERGERON