Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre walked toward the waterfront in his old town area and shook his head in disbelief.
"Our downtown area is no longer here," he said.
It was swallowed up by a ferocious hurricane.
"This is the heart and soul of Bay St. Louis, our downtown area," the mayor said. "And basically right now there's nothing left."
Nothing but a mayor and his suddenly famous pair of shorts. David Letterman mentioned the shorts in one of his comic bits. Washington Post subscribers recently read about Favre and his shorts showing up at a black tie reception.
"The idea of what I look like or anything, to me, it shouldn't matter," said Favre. "It should simply be a matter of what are we trying to do to make it home again to bring the people back."
No matter what's on his schedule, Favre shows up wearing shorts. At a library luncheon, one woman told the mayor, "You should come out with a line of shorts now."
He might not be the most professional looking mayor since Katrina. But Favre wonders why he needs to look professional when he's using his fashion sense to make a statement.
"We came through the storm pretty much with shorts, just like everybody else, the clothes you had on your back," the mayor said. "And until such time as the city is rebuilt, that's how we're going to stay."
The mayor isn't trying to be disrespectful. He simply wants people to remember that the Bay St. Louis community he represents is a long way from etting dressed up again.
"We have a job to do. And that job is to rebuild our city and bring our people home," said Favre.