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News Story
Updated: 08/28/2014 08:00:01AM

Learning the truth about Charley

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ARCADIAN PHTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
A rapt audience listens to speakers relate their first-hand experiences of surviving Hurricane Charley.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Rob Herron came to the Hurricane Charley Retrospective. People gathered at Mac Martin's Gallery to learn more and share memories about the major storm that destroyed much of DeSoto County 10 years ago.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Gordon "Mac" Martin played and sang some of his original songs inspired by Hurricane Charley.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Three prospective buyers from China had spent the day looking at DeSoto County properties before coming to Mac Martin's Charley Retrospective.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Carol Mahler read her poem about a mighty oak tree that split in half, during the Charley Retrospective on Thursday.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Frank Desguin of the Peace River Writers Group shared his personal memories of surviving Hurricane Charley.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Michael Haymans of the Peace River Writers Group gave personal insight into what it was like to live through the hurricane.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Sarah Hollenhorst read her essay in the book "Summer of the Storms" about surviving Hurricane Charley by holing up in an old bread truck.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Lois Hendricks read her memoir about seeking shelter in the Turner Center, only to have part of the roof blow off. Her essay repeated the frequent announcements made on the PA system there, making a listener feel as if he were there in person.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com
Debra Fewell of the Peace River Writers Group introduced the speakers who shared their personal experiences of Hurricane Charley.

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On Aug. 14, Mac Martin hosted a reception for the “Hurricane Charley Retrospective,” an evening to share art, essays, poems and songs, and heartfelt memories about that terrible day in 2004 when Charley came calling in DeSoto County.

I wasn’t here then — I did not move to Florida until the following year, when my husband came here to help a friend invest in the real estate business, which was booming a year after the hurricane. (Of course, the market started to tank just about the time the ink on our mortgage papers dried. But by then we were settled and happy to be living in Florida.)

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