“And the Sky Was Clean” is a compelling story; beautifully written about life on the windswept shores of a small southern town on the Gulf of Mexico; Long Beach, Mississippi. It was the summer of ‘69 that a monster was lurking in the Atlantic Ocean, biding her time and growing like a fast spreading cancer. Her name was Camille. She would be dubbed “the storm of a lifetime”; devastating the entire Gulf Coast and a way of life beloved by all. The Gervais’ family, like so much of the Coast, is a melting pot of cultures. Gene, the patriarch hailed from the beautiful land of lakes in far off St. Paul Minnesota. He met married Ida, a daughter of the south, whose roots run deep in the Mississippi mud after World War II while stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in the nearby town of Biloxi. Later, their youngest, Cathy would fall in love with a handsome young Biloxi boy by the name of Ricky Suarez who’s Cajun French and Spanish ancestry is forever linked with the sea and all her bounty. While the south endured times of civil unrest and the Vietnam War, it also was forced to suffer through Camille, a level five catastrophic hurricane on a hot August night in 1969; who forever changed the standard of measurement for all other storms that rolled ashore thereafter. Then in 2005, the storm of all storms: hurricane Katrina made Camille look as though it were a mere warm up performance for the main act. It’s been said that hurricane Camille killed more people in 2005 than she did in 1969, due to the local attitudes that espoused her as the icon of all storms, the tempest that would surely never come to pass again! As New Orleans took center stage in the national news, the fact that Mississippi bore the brunt of Katrina’s wrath was lost to a nation glued to events unfolding in the Crescent City. Countless small villages and communities across Mississippi were plunged into darkness, cut off from the rest of the world; struggling to survive the elements! Life and the effects of these two catastrophic events are told in this compelling story based on the events as they unfolded with both families, bound by the love of their two children for one another. Each family is touched and forever changed by their struggles and triumphs as Cathy and Ricky discover through their faith in God that no matter how great the battle; God’s love and hope is greater still!
About Catherine Gervais'
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Published June 18, 2010
Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors.