Evacuee Living In Hotel Is Grateful - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/12/05 - Nacogdoches

Evacuee Living In Hotel Is Grateful

by Donna McCollum

Evacuees from both hurricanes remain in hotels across East Texas. There's a Hurricane Katrina evacuee who has been living at the Hotel Fredonia in Nacogdoches since August 28th. Alton D'Herete knows the hotel as well as those who work there, but his appreciation for it is very unique.

"Now this is where I stay in this room. This is my home right now," showed D'Herete during a recent tour. The Covington, Louisiana man stays there after losing his home to Hurricane Rita.

Alton's neighbors are relatives. Four of the seven families remain. He introduced aunts and cousins. "They're evacuees from New Orleans. Their homes are gone."

Alton just as eagerly introduces his adopted family, the Fredonia Hotel staff. "This is Cathy. She is the manager at the Fredonia Hotel where we're staying. She's like a second daughter to me. Okay. And this is a real good friend to me. I love her so much. She's just like my sister to me. And this is Cynthia. They're like family to us."

This Cajun's family includes the maintenance man to the cook. D'Herete joked, "I'll show them how to fix alligator, crawfish etouffe. I'll teach 'em." From the maid to the hostess, Alton appreciates each and every one of them. "They're always helping us. These people are so good. It's unreal."

The Hurricane Katrina evacuees showed their gratitude by picking up debris from another hurricane called Rita. Tracey DaMare', Alton's niece said, "That's the only thing we could think to do to help out. It was a mess. It was like someone took all the shrubbery and threw it all over the place."

They share the pride they once had for their own homes. D'Herete spoke about a recent visit to his Louisiana home in an attempt to salvage belongings. "Part of our roof was completely blown off. My cousins roof was partially blown off. But the inside. You couldn't stand the smell." Yet so thankful this man remains. "Never in my life I'll never forget this place."

Alton along with three of his families will soon be moving from the Fredonia Hotel into homes all on the same street. They may make Nacogdoches their permanent home.

Powered by Frankly