Dr. Jim Thriffiley IV, a Bay St. Louis orthopedic surgeon, found daily uses for the little pier in front of his house on North Beach Boulevard. He could introduce 22-month-old Jameson to the wonders of crabbing and fishing, or sit around in the evening and eat freshly boiled crabs caught from the pier on the Bay.|
"I could come home from work and be in the water in 10 minutes," Thriffiley said. "I kept a kayak at the pier and a wind surfer rigged and ready to go."
Katrina shattered this idyllic life, taking the home he and Angie lived in. It wasn't their house anymore; they'd sold it but were still living at 1908 North Beach Blvd. while they built a dream house three doors down.
Scouring the neighborhood, they found part of the mangled windsurfer. The beloved kayak was battered but is fixable. Not a lot else survived. They found a crystal cross that was a 2003 wedding present.
Their daughter Ainsley Kate was born by Caesarean section six days before Katrina, and Angie was considered post-operative as they evacuated to Georgia for the approaching hurricane. Mother and baby are doing well.
Thriffiley also lost his medical equipment in his office near Hancock County Medical Center. He has relocated with partners in a Biloxi office, the same town where the Thriffileys have relocated as a family. At least for now.
"Bay St. Louis is our home. That's where both of us grew up and we'd like our children to grow up and go to school there," said the doctor, "but right now it's not a good place to have two babies.
"Things are up in the air for so many people and we're no different. Right now we will hang on to the land in Bay St. Louis and may at some point build something."
- KAT BERGERON