Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Toy Theatre & Hurricanes

To anyone that have been part of Toy Theatre for awhile, they know the name of Gigi Sandberg. Gigi emailed the community recently to give an update on how they are after Hurricane Katrina, and a bit about their experiences during it. Gigi also has great news about where a core part of her theatre collection will be housed...safely, I might add!
September 29, 2005

Hello everybody.

This time last month Katrina was just landing with the eye of the storm going directly over our place...and this is the first time I have had access to the Internet to receive all your great messages. We don't have phone service yet and was told not to expect if before November 19th...so, of course, no internet either. So I will be answering you individually when I can get back to this machine again...when we make it back to Gulfport next time...but I do want to get out a brief message to thank you all for your concern for us. There were lots of great offers of assistance...and we are absolutely glowing over the number of invitations we got to adopt us!!!

Glen and I are fine...though a bit shaken. We "rode out the storm" in my puppet studio in Diamondhead...which is the highest point on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The mandatory evacuation notice for Diamondhead came so late that we got the car gassed up and then looked at the map for a destination...and the storm was so huge that we really couldn't find a place that was any better than where we were. The whole experience was very scary...and I can't even try to describe what we have (and don't have) left on the Gulf Coast. Nor can I describe the devastation here or the UTTER incompetence of FEMA to help us. They are just now setting up an office here. So we have been very dependent on the Red Cross and the good folks around the country who brought big trucks of food and other necessary supplies...and then stayed to help us.

Both of our houses here are still standing...though the one here in Gulfport (where I am now) got a good bit more damage then the one in Diamondhead. So I am still staying in the Diamondhead house...even without a phone and internet service. I do have a cell phone which is usable...though all the circuits are often busy. Getting around is still a problem as there is so much of a mess on the roads...and many bridges etc are gone altogether...and the supply of gas is limited and very high priced. We're just glad we came thru as well as we did...there were 2 known deaths in Diamondhead and a long list of missing people.

SOOO...since we made it through Katrina...followed by Rita...(and another one now in the Bahamas) our plan to go to London on the 9th of October is still in place. We hope to see many of you puppeteers at the Webb Fest...and then we plan to visit northern Scotland. We had hoped to visit Mike Bartley in Plymouth but were unable to get on that tour. We do SO look forward to this trip...We really need it! Wish I knew just the words to tell you how important you all are to us!! We needed to hear from caring folks...and you were all there!! Lots and lots of heartfelt thanks.

Oh yes, the Toy Theatres came thru just fine...but I have decided that collecting antique paper stuff in Coastal Mississippi is insane. Plan to place most of my collection in Kansas City at Diane Houk's Puppetry Arts Institute where more people will see them anyway...and just concentrate on doing models of prominent theatres in the U.S. So far we are concentrating on the Goldenrod Showboat and Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C.

All for now...more when I get back to Gulfport next time.

Much Love,
Gigi and Glen