We all know that the beach is what calls us here, but the people who fill our dunes is what makes us special.
Local Color is back! Contributed by Becky Pourchot to highlight the great people of our town.
You never know who you might meet while at the 7-11. This is Bill. Hit hard by Hurricane Irma, Bill is still trying to get out of the rubble, but the community has come together in a big way to help him recover. Once a journalist for the Navy, he’s traveled the world and has the stories to show for it. As a man filled with fantastic tales, it’s always a pleasure to run into him.
*Update on Bill*
Standing in line at the 7-11, I bumped into Bill, a hurricane survivor who was featured last week on “I love Flagler Beach.” Bill saw me and said with excitement: “I want you to come see my house.”
7-11 owner Eric chimed in “I’ve been wanting to see it too.” So, Eric and I jumped in his (7-11 themed!) golf cart and headed north. As he drove, Eric recounted how he met Bill.
Right after Hurricane Irma, he and a crew of guys ventured door to door in the flooded areas. They found Bill alone in his heavily cluttered home completely overwhelmed. Bill had few contacts in the area and was now living in a potentially dangerous situation. The guys dragged the molding contents of his home out to the curb, and ever since Eric has found time in his busy schedule to help his new friend.
Most of Bill’s house is still in ramshackles. Exposed floor boards have large holes in them, drywall needs to be hung, and to make matters worse, he has no running water.
However on the day of our visit Bill had something special to show us. Behind a door was a perfectly finished room–suitable for reading a good book or smoking a cigar. He proudly showed us each of the pieces of artwork on the walls, many of which he collected in his travel overseas as a Navy reporter.
We then stepped into the kitchen, which was little more than a card table, a microwave, and a refrigerator. Bill pulled out an invoice that he had questions about. Eric read it over and discussed it with Bill, trouble shooting the problem like a son watching out for his aging dad.
A tenderness has been fostered between these two men, who if it wasn’t for the hurricane, would have never crossed paths.
Eric continues to keep an eye out for his new friend, in fact he promised to bring his dog for a visit this weekend. Although Bill’s house has a long way to go, Bill keeps his sense of humor. He is no longer living a life of isolation. There’s now a community of people watching out for him.
These awesome guys are local heroes 🙂
Have a great day and thanks for being here!