New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 25, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, December 25, 2005
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Families happy despite devastation
His brother, a retired firefighter, chose to stay in New Braunfels. The Braceys hope to join him here in a few years.
“We liked everything about your city,” Bracey said. "Nothing was bad. If it wasn’t for the circumstances, it would have been the best vacation I’ve ever had.”
Contrary to life in New Braunfels, life in New Orleans is difficult. Bracey, who was born and raised in the Crescent City, said he did not see how it could ever he the same again, no matter what rebuilding efforts were in the works.
While the Bracey family was lucky to escape the worst of the hurricane’s damage, the sad state of their surroundings has put a damper on the holiday.
"We’re trying to make it a holiday, but it definitely has a different flavor,” Bracey said. “It was a struggle to put up a tree, and the stores are so crazy.”
The trappings might be more sparse than usual, but the Christmas spirit is overflowing.
“Every day I wake up, I’m glad. What we have experienced has made us so grateful,” Bracey said. “It’s definitely lessened the materialism. Christmas this year is about being alive and having a house.”
Chris Richard and his family arrived in New Braunfels several days before Katrina made landfall.
They were regular visitors to the Texas Hill Countrv, and
when they knew they needed to get out of New Orleans for several days, they decided to come to their favorite vacation spot.
As they watched the hurricane coverage from their hotel room, they knew the damage would be bad, but seeing it in person was heartbreaking.
Richard returned to the Big Easy in early October to find grungy water lines ringing his home near die 17th Street Levee.
At its highest point, the water had topped IO feet, leaving both the outside and the inside of die house in ruins.
“When I opened the door, it was just a mess,” Richard said. “A total disaster. Everything had floated when the water rose and then set back down in strange places when it receded.”
Although almost everything was ruined, Richard did discover several bright spots when he walked through the house for the first time.
A stack of clean white towels on die kitchen table were still folded up exactly where the family had left them.
A basket of clean clothes also had survived, buoyed up on top of the floodwaters.
Tile small material blessings turned out to be harbingers for a larger miracle the family experienced as it struggled to recover from the storm’s after-math.
Richard began working on cleaning out the house immediately, pulling down sheetrock and removing insulation.
But before he could get any further, he received an unexpected visit.
“The people from the church next door came by and off ered to buy the house. We were really fortunate,” Richard said.
Dr. John Horan’s
new office will be open effective January 3rd, 2006
652 N. Houston, #2 New Braunfels, Texas 78130 Phone (830) 625-0009
The office will be closed from December 26-30th for the move.
If you have appointments scheduled, please call ahead for directions. Thank you for understanding during this change. £
Bill D. Davis, M.D.
Bob Bower, M.D.
Gerlyn Friesenhahn, M.D.
announce the addition of
Deborah L. Carver, M.D.
Neurology Clinic of Central Texas
Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of:
• Carpal Tunnel
• Peripheral Neuropathy
• Back Pain
• Botox Clinic
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
ADULT neurology • electromyography • electroencephalography
Now accepting patients at their office at:
19-B Gruene Park Dr., New Braunfels, TX For an appointment or information call:
(830) 606-9142 or (830) 609-2040
Centraf Texas ZlfCergy and
Frank C. Hampel, Jr. M.D.
• New Braunfels’ only hoard certified Allergist recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties
• Over 20 years experience
• Nationally Recognized in Allergy Research
• Specializing in nonsurgical treatment of sinus and ear disease.
• Experienced in Rapid Allergy Desensitization
• Treatment of children and adults for ■
►Seasonal & Year Round Allergies ►Asthma ►Sinus Disease ►Food Allergies ►Insect Allergies ►Hives
705-A Landa Street • New Braunfels
The rest of the family returned from New Braunfels and moved into their new home the neighboring suburb of Metairie.
Although he still is fighting with the insurance company to recover as much as he can from his former property, Richard knows his family fared better than most others.
“We feel blessed and so fortunate. Everything we lost is material. We didn’t have any family or friends hurt or killed. Right now. we’re a lot better off than most people,” he said.
Despite the family’s feelings of gratitude, Richard admitted generating enough Christmas spirit to spread around was difficult.
"It’s not as sweet or happy as it usually is, but we do have a tree. We’ve tried to make sure the kids are able to enjoy things,” he said.
Whenever Richard or his wife Erin need a little “feel good” boost, all they have to do is think ofTexas.
“We owe all the people of the state, but especially the people of New Braunfels, a huge debt of gratitude,” he said. “lf you ever need our help like we needed yours, we’ll be here to reciprocate. We wish all of you guys a very merry Christmas."
^ Drive-Thru ^
Christmas Light Park
Over 1.3 Million Lights!
I-35N between New Braunfels & San Marcos — Exit 199 OPEN DAILYl
SUN-THUR 6 pm-IO pm FRI-SAT 6 pm-11 pm
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Shoppers use every minute to search
for a special gift for his wife.
“I’d finally like to buy my wife a wedding ring,” he said, peering at gems under the display case.
I Ie explained that neither of them had wedding bands when they were first married, but he thought a ring would be an appropriate gift. His work schedule kept him out of stores until the very last shopping day before Christmas.
McHenry said. “But we’ve years, and I think it s sorne-
“We live very simply,” been married almost two thing she would really like.”
Open through New Year’s Day!
INFO: 830-743-1293 www.santasranch.net
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SAVE Apply for TIME! Credit Online!
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DAVID INGRAM/Herald Zeitung
A last-minute Christmas shopper makes his way through a packed parking lot while drivers circle for an empty space at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve.