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    Help for Gordon McKee (Katrina victim)
    #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005
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    Austin, Texas
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    I have posted previously about Gordon McKee, world-ranked in the LJ in 1990 and '92 and a high school teammate of mine. This article was just printed in the Rockdale (Texas) Reporter, our hometown newspaper. I would have just posted a link, but their links expire every week, so I am reprinting in full here. (Don't worry Garry, the Reporter granted me permission to do this.) The paper's full website is at http://www.rockdalereporter.com.

    BY KEN ESTEN COOKE
    Reporter Columnist


    Imagine having to start your life over at age 38. Everything you had built and saved until that time suddenly gone.

    That has happened to a classmate of ours and a former Rockdalian.

    Gordon McKee, his wife and two sons, are now living like nomads. The couple and some of Gordon’s in-laws heeded the evacuation warnings and got out of immediate danger when Hurricane Katrina rolled in. But their home, located about 10 blocks from the Lake Ponchartrain levee, has been destroyed.
    Gordon was one of our graduating class of 1985 here at Rockdale. He is the son of local Frank McKee and Barbara McKee, who now lives in Houston.

    Gordon took the silver medal in the high school state track meet in the high jump and was fourth in the long jump. In 1990, he sailed 27 feet in the long jump in San Angelo. He went on to qualify for the Olympic trials while at Southwest Texas University when he high-jumped a gravity-defying 7-foot, 4-inches.

    Sadly, that’s about the water level in a lot of New Orleans neighborhoods.

    “We’re exhausted,” Gordon told me Tuesday by cell phone. “We saw our home on a satellite picture on the internet and it’s under water. We’ve heard it might be a while before they even let us come look through our homes.”

    Gordon’s sister Jan, a 1989 graduate and now a Real Estate agent in Houston, is waiting for Gordon and his family to arrive. They had been staying in a hotel first, then a shelter and now are looking to travel to Houston.

    “They’re not going back,” Jan said Monday night, saying Gordon would try and start over in the Houston area. “He said he’s tired of having to move the family during hurricanes and the wages are not what he could earn in another city.”

    Louie Armstrong’s tune “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?” has taken on a sadder meaning since this tragedy.

    Now it’s not about longing for a visit, as most anyone who has had the pleasure of doing has felt. But it’s the stupified “where’s-my-city?” feeling of its residents.

    As Christians, we should all feel called to help our fellow man instead of listening to the petty political bickering or singling out a looting incident and thinking that sums up the entire populace in that depressed city.

    Rockdale has responded so well in many ways (see page 1a.)

    Charlie McBride and wife Melanie, also classmates, took the initiative to set up an account to help Gordon and his family.

    We’re asking all our RHS classmates and anyone else to assist. We’ve set up an account at Citizens National Bank called The Gordon McKee Family Fund that will help him to get back on his feet.

    We all got to meet Gordon’s wife Gaynell and his sons Gordon II and Joseph, ages 10 and 8, at our class reunion in July. What a wonderful family. We all had fun bragging on our kids that day.

    Margaret Green (Melanie’s mother) is collecting new or gently-used clothing for the family locally. You can drop off clothes at the Green home, 209 White Street, 446-6636.

    Clothing sizes are as follows: Gordon II, size 22 husky pants, size 16-18 shirts, size 18 underwear, size 6 1/2 shoes. Joseph, size 7-8 pants and shirts, size 8 underwear, size 3 shoes; Gordon, XL shirts, 38-32 pants, size 12 shoes; Gaynell, 14 pants-skirts, large tops, size 7 1/2 shoes.

    So many people are helping Katrina’s victims in many ways. Between relief donations and rising gas prices, everyone feels pinched right now.

    But think about having to start all over. About being settled into a pretty comfortable life and losing everything. And who knows how long until insurance claims will be settled?

    I hope everyone can spare some dollars for this man and his family. Gordon is a class act, even though his accomplishments could have led to a big head.

    Count your blessings and God bless you.

    The Gordon McKee Family Fund
    c/o Citizens National Bank
    140 E. Cameron Ave.
    Rockdale, TX 76567

    ken@rockdalereporter.com

    Copyright 2005 The Rockdale Reporter
    P.O. Box 552
    Rockdale, Texas 76567-2972
    512-446-5838
    512-446-5317(fax)
    "Run fast and keep turning left."
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    Re: Help for Gordon McKee (Katrina victim)
    #2
    Thanks, Lee, for the story. I had the pleasure of working with Gordon during his years at SWT and he is as humble as it gets. I'm looking forward to seeing him again when he settles in Houston, since it's been a few years.
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    Re: Help for Gordon McKee (Katrina victim)
    #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    3,161
    I just wanted to bump this thread up once, so it didn't get lost under all the WAF threads.
    "Run fast and keep turning left."
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