On his way out west in 1972, Johnny Sykes made a detour through Pascagoula to visit his sister.    "I came here on my way to Colorado to make my fortune," Sykes said.    Once on the Coast, he knew Pascagoula was where he would stay.    "Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., and I'll never move back," he said. "I just stayed. I just loved it."    In 1988, Sykes and his wife, Camille, bought waterfront property on Beach Boulevard, just west of the public beach.    Soon a local contractor, Irby Tillman, began work on a two-story colonial-style home.    Before the house was finished, Tillman told Sykes the roof was specially made, reinforced with steel beams inside the front columns. A perfect foe for hurricane-force winds, he believed.    "When she comes," Tillman told Sykes, "we won't lose the roof."    And they didn't.    While other roof systems were washed away near Sykes' home, those steel beams apparently bent with the wind and storm surge Katrina brought. The first floor washed out and the second floor came down in its place. When Katrina was finished, it was like the roof had sat down.    After the storm, contractors cut a hole in the roof and climbed down into what used to be the second story. Everything was intact; pictures still hung on the walls.    "He (Tillman) told me they don't make them like that in the books," Sykes said.    Sykes said he plans to rebuild as soon as possible but is waiting for flood elevations to be set along the beach.    "It was always great to live there and look out over the water," he said. "I consider it my home and I'll never leave it." - SARA GREER