D'Iberville's Rebuilding Spirit Stronger Than Any Storm

June first will mark two beginnings: the start of a new hurricane season, and the day Oliver Diaz expects to open the doors to his new package store in D'Iberville.

"It's a new beginning for OD's Thrift Package Store," Diaz says.

It's a business he owned for 36 years on D'Iberville Boulevard, until Katrina. So he's starting over on Boney Avenue where his home once stood, another storm casualty.

"I decided to go ahead and put the building, the new liquor store on my old home site."

At 66, many people would consider retirement, but not Oliver Diaz.

"That's not in my nature, and I don't intend to quit. That's not the kinda people we are here on the Coast. Anybody's been living on the Coast all their life, it's in their nature and their spirit to rebuild and that's what we're going to do."

The Gollotts believe that too. But Brian Gollott says after seeing what Katrina did to the seafood business his grandfather started in 1932, the family almost gave up. Instead, the Gollotts are not only repairing the cold storage building, they're expanding with a bigger processing plant.

"We're going to go with some new very new equipment that's coming out for our processing facility," Gollott says.

He says the family business has survived hurricanes for nearly a century and Katrina will not weaken that determination.

"We got together and said we're going to build back and we're going to build bigger, better. And like I say, the best shrimp in the world come right here in these Mississippi waters."

Gollott says when the first nets drop, they'll be ready to process Mississippi shrimp.