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Patrick Trimble, left, and William Holmes

Patrick Trimble, left, and William Holmes

Patrick Trimble and William Holmes were among the new arrivals who preferred hanging out by the gates and chatting up the girls who walked by to sitting with the rest of the evacuees inside the Armory.

Both from New Orleans and long-time friends, Trimble, 22, said he was lucky enough to leave with his 15-year-old brother, aunt and grandma. But he has no idea where the rest of his 21-member family is.

"I don't know where they at," he said. "They're everywhere. Separated."

Holmes, 40, a self-proclaimed "jack of all trades," said Trimble and he took shelter for eight days on the second story of the George O'Mundy Junior School building near their homes, "livin' large."

"It was me, my nephew, sister and my mom," he said.

Both their homes were flooded. "All my room is damaged," Trimble said. "My games ... everything."

They didn't climb onto any rooftops, Holmes said. But Army workers spotted him headed back and forth between the school and his sister's home nearby and helped them escape.

On Tuesday, neither knew what to expect for the future, though both seemed sure they aren't headed back to New Orleans any time soon. "I want to go visit my wife in Florida," Holmes said. "But if I can go back and get my stuff, I'll go.

"We left a whole lot of stuff there."

Within three days of reaching the Armory, Trimble said he had lined up a new construction job in Maryland. He had also bought himself a new basketball.

"I got my job," he said. I'm not going back."

By Friday, Holmes was able to contact his family in Florida to tell them he was safe.

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Photos and text by April Chan
Published  Sept. 16, 2005

Banner graphic by April Chan, incorporating photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Newsline Web content edited by Chris Harvey; Capital News Service stories edited by Adrianne Flynn and Tony Barbieri.  

Copyright 2005 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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