GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Clark Madison rode out Hurricane Katrina in his North Gulfport home and wound up rescuing a number of his like minded neighbors from his boat. He knows he won't be doing that again.
"They say it's another hurricane coming and Clark is gone," says Madison with a laugh.
He and his wife Bertha have since gutted and rebuilt their home themselves, and they didn't stop there.
"See all these bushes and trees," says Madison. "There's a lot of love in it."
Clark and Bertha never go anywhere without a shovel.
"(We found) a lot of these flowers and bushes, riding around. We see things you know. The wife says I like that, and we get a piece. I keep my Army E tool with me at all times. Just like in the service"
Their yard stands out on Holly Circle as an example of what a little hard work and a lot of love can create.
"I got a neighbor right over here. He works just as hard as I do, but we got some who don't care. Then we got some that really try. But hopefully as life goes on everybody will get into it."
And they're hopeful others will follow their example and make this once demolished neighborhood the kind of Eden they enjoy in their own yard.
"The whole area got demolished. And I'm very impressed with a lot of the people that's getting theirs back. They're going to tighten up, Don, because they're going to love what they've got. They're going to tighten up because their homes are just about like new homes, and I know they're going to get out there and tighten them up."
For the Madisons, it's a matter of community pride, and Clark believes, without a hint of irony, that should start in one's own front yard.
"This is where I put my roots, right here. And I'll be here until time is gone."
The Madisons say all the volunteers and organizations that have helped their neighborhood rebuild deserve everyone's thanks and praise.