One Gulfport Resident Aims To Rebuild

"Out of a whole life time this is whole that I've got left," said Gene Calcote.

Gene Calcote has lived in his dream home on Beards Cove for about eight years. Hurricane Katrina trashed it in about eight hours.

"But people that haven't seen this or didn't go through it they just can't imagine and I can understand why so many people have left," said Calcote.

But he has decided to stay. And progress can be heard throughout his home.

His home is 12 feet off of the ground, yet seven feet of water went inside.

However, the thought of 'not rebuilding' does not cross his mind because he says there are just some things you cannot find outside of this quiet Gulfport neighborhood.

"The view out here and the fishing and any kind of hunting on the water or most all the fish you can catch, they are back here. You don't have to go far," said Calcote.

And while Calcote, like his surrounding neighbors, have been cramped up in a small trailer for almost 6 months now, he has found the time to write a story about his experiences before, during, and after the storm, and this true story includes an unlikely character.

"I had a pet alligator out here that I fed and he just loved marshmallows. He left two days before the hurricane and got back seven days after the hurricane, and his name was Claude," said Calcote.

Calcote remains positive about rebuilding his home, which he had just remodeled before the storm, as well as the rebuilding of South Mississippi.

"Everyday seems to be better. I mean, if you're here one day, the next day seems to be a little bit better," said Calcote.

Calcote says he plans to be back in his home by the first of June.