ENGL070: Reading/Writing I

From Professor Natale-Boianelli's

ENGL070: Reading/Writing I

Fall 2009

Ferdousi Haque

Professor Natale-Bioanelli

English – 070


Listening Is an Act of Love Essay

            In Listening Is an Act of Love, StoryCorps founder and producer Dave Isay selects the important and cherish able memories of the American history. Involvement in StoryCorps is an easy course. To make this all possible, first, the interviewer needs to make an appointment and visit one of the Storycorps booths. A StorCorps facilitator will greet the interviewer and take interviews. The interviewer will talk about stories that connect to real people and their lives in American history. People go in the StoryCorps booth to talk about their lives, important details about their life story, and how their memorable stories can never be forgotten. One of the interviews that touched me the most is Douglas Paul Desilvey. Douglas is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst catastrophes ever to strike the United States. Douglas Paul demonstrates how he survived and how he connected with his love ones that care for him.

            In the “Fire and Water” section of Listening Is an Act of Love, Douglas Paul tells the StoryCorps facilitator about how Hurricane Katrina hurt him as well as his family. Douglas and his family go to help Nadine and Ted. Douglas, Linda and Donna prepared Nadine’s and Ted’s retirement home for the storm in Ocean Springs. Nadine’s and Ted’s retirement home is eighteen feet above sea level. Monday morning the water came up as fast as a ticking sound on a clock. Suddenly, the water started coming up to the garage area, and instantly the door burst open. As soon as Douglas was going to tell his family to stick together, the storm had already begun. From out of no where, the roof came up, Douglas and his family could see daylight. The roof came back down in top of Douglas and the whole family; and all the walls collapsed, because there were no walls to support it. The only reason Douglas is alive because he was back of the room, where there was just enough air to breathe in. Douglas gets hold of himself by grabbing one of the limbs of a magnolia tree. All of a sudden, there were all four dead bodies floating in the water. Douglas got in the water, went in higher grounds, walked five miles, and told a sheriff right away. After Douglas came home, he built four crosses and nailed that from part of Nadine’s house. From the pictures and memories that are left, these little things that Douglas has in the house makes him feel alive (Desilvey and Yulman 233- 238).

            Reading this interview, I learned to never give up, and appreciate whoever cares about you. I can never imagine losing my whole family because it will be very sad, very hard, and very painful for me. I will not like to lose any of my love ones, because living alone is like not living at all. For Douglas, he doesn’t have any plans for the future, because it’s just Douglas and himself. This is what touched me the most, because Douglas had to go through a horrible time in Hurricane Katrina. Douglas and his family went to support the grandparents, and it turned out to be a tragedy. I can’t imagine how horrific the roof scene must be, whenever I read that part, I just start shaking. When Douglas finds all four dead bodies right in front of his face, that scene tears me apart. I can never see my family dead in my face, because I would probably faint.  It is hard enough when some one passes away, but seeing someone die in front of you, is very hard. After reading this interview, I felt how Hurricane Katrina was like was. I never thought it was this horrific, but after reading this interview, the deep words of sorrow touched my heart.

            Finally, the most important thing is that Douglas survived and he is safe. Douglas cannot blame for what has happened to him because no one knows what or when things happen. Douglas lives his days by the faith that he has in himself. Bill Dellenger and all the folk’s that supported Douglas is by caring for him, and having faith on him. The friends and folk’s that care for him and have concerns about Douglas make him the way he is today. Douglas’s horrifying experience will take time, will be tough, he will go through this life, and will get better in time.

 Work Cited

Desilvey, Douglas Paul and Nick Yulman"Interview.”  Listening Is An Act Of Love. Ed. Dave Isay.                 New York: Penguin, 2007. 233-238.