This is your first missive from Mississippi. It's the beginning of our second day, and we're pumped. It's been wonderful meeting the team and working with them. But best of all is helping the people who've brought in their photos.
We gathered about 1000 images yesterday as well has had many inspiring and uplifting discussions with people who are more gracious and decent than you can imagine. The general attitude of the folks who have come in is that they're blessed -- no matter how much they've lost.
A lovely elderly lady came in with a large wrapped photo, approached me, and said "I don't think you can do anything with this, but I thought I'd bring it in." It was a gorgeous portrait of 2 children -- with minimal damage. An easy restoration in any of our books. When I told her we'd have no trouble restoring her photo, she burst into tears. The photo was a 35-year old portrait of her two children. We've been close to tears, as have our photo "donors" on a regular basis. Had a pretty good cry once the day was over.
The stories of loss will tear your heart out, and the optimism of the citizens of Biloxi warm my heart and make me proud. After two years, many of the photos are still wet, and we're using up bottles of hand sanitizer because of the mold and debris. Unimaginable unless you're here.
The team hails from all over the country -- California, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, Shreveport, LA, and places beyond.
Most of the team are photographers, so we'll have an extensive collections of photos to document the trip. I'm keeping a journal, so I'm (go figure) the historian.
We had a reporter here yesterday interviewing everyone. Waiting to see if an article has been published.
The team split up last night to loosen up and chew over the day's intensity. All I can say is "What happens in Biloxi stays in Biloxi!"
I'm going to sign off, because we started the morning before opening time with a full house. Whoo hoo!
More news at 11. Wish you were all here. This is the most awesome experience imaginable.
Hugs from Biloxi,