Faith being restored for some in Galveston

September 25, 2008 10:33:40 AM PDT
Many Galveston residents who returned home for the first time yesterday are still trying to digest the devastation on the island.ROAD TO RECOVERY: How you can help | School closings | Person locator | Important phone numbers | Assistance from FEMA | Filing a claim | Latest power numbers

Yesterday, people felt the impact of the devastation that happened in Gavleston and today, a lot of those people are getting over that shock, realizing that there is hope on the Island.

Many of the businesses along Broadway are starting to reopen and there is at least one restaurant that may be the only place that you can get a hot meal.

As the sun rises over Galveston Bay, the quietness of the bay is broken by the sound of recovery. It could be heard across the island as residents clean up and rebuild what is left of their lives. But it was the smell of freshly smoked meat from the smoke house of Leo's Cajun Corner on Broadway that brings restored faith to a city where everything seems to be gone.

"They are glad that someone did actually make it OK and especially in the food business because I could be a hardware store, or a clothing store, but you've got to eat," said owner Leo Narcantel.

Following the storm, Narcantel didn't think he would ever be able to reopen up his restaurant.

"When I got two blocks from here after seeing all of the destruction of the mainland, Bayou Vista, Tiki Island and to Galveston, I really felt like this little old building was going to be a pile of rubble or not even here," he said.

To his surprise, sitting in the midst of devastation at its worst was Leo's old restaurant.

"It's embedded in my mind that my old building was asking 'Ike who?'," he said.

"What is the general expression or reaction you get when they pull up and they realize that you are open and everything is still here?" we asked.

"Well, 'Thank God for you Leo. You must be a good man'," he said. "Hey, it wasn't me that saved this building. It had to be something bigger than me."

Leo bought the building and land 17 years ago from the Ursuline nuns. He was planning on knocking the building down following the completion of a new building. He's not so sure about that now.

Galveston residents are starting to realize that the restaurant is open and are stopping by for a hot meal.

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