One of the lucky ones


By Doug Snover

Antigone Pierson counts herself as one of the lucky ones.  She is living in Scottsdale in a three-bedroom house with her son, Taylor, and ten other people forced out of their homes in the New Orleans area by Hurricane Katrina.

Some 1,500 miles away, her house in Lacombe, Louisiana, is still standing, although Antigone has been told there is neither electricity nor running water. Her local sheriff’s department advised her not to come home soon.

Covington is north of Lake Pontchartrain and New Orleans. Antigone, 29, is one of the lucky ones. Her nearly new house is still standing. There will be something to go home to … someday.

Taylor’s father, Taylor Tebbe, who lives in New Orleans, was flooded out.

“He stayed for the whole storm in New Orleans. He was on the second floor of the house with one to two feet of water on the second floor. The single story houses were all underwater,” she said.



Most of Taylor Tebbe’s family also lost their homes in the flood. Antigone pauses to count them – Taylor; his mother and father; his grandfather, an uncle who has a wife and three kids; an aunt with a husband the two children; and two aunts who are single. All flooded out by Katrina.

But all safe, according to reports Antigone has heard from the devastated area.

“I feel lucky. I know that all my family is accounted for. My family and all my friends are accounted for,” she said.

Antigone is a paralegal, but her law firm in Louisiana is shut down temporarily.

“As soon as they can get things up and running, they want me to come back,” she said.

Meanwhile, she is working temporarily as a receptionist in the Mary Contreras’ State Farm Agency in the Kyrene Corridor. And her son, Taylor, started attending elementary school in Scottsdale this week.

Not that things are ‘back to normal’ by any means.

Normal was the way things were just before the hurricane. Taylor has just started in a new, private boys school, and was trying out for the football team. The school participated in a football jamboree on Saturday.

The next morning, Antigone packed what she could in her car and drove west. It took 15 hours to reach Houston on highways clogged with people evacuating the New Orleans area.

“We were only planning to go to Houston for a couple of days and then go home,” she said.

Instead, they came to Arizona when the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was revealed. She and Taylor, as well as her mother and father, are staying with Leslie Lally in Lally’s Scottsdale home. Lally’s own mother and several other relatives also are staying in the house, refugees from Louisiana.

“I’m happy to have someone to take me in,” Antigone said. “Everybody is trying to pick up the pieces.”