Two brothers starting over in Claremore

Monday, September 19th 2005, 5:03 pm
By: News On 6

From the depths of despair in the New Orleans Superdome, to new lives in Oklahoma. Two brothers are starting over in Claremore, with a little help from the locals.

As the News on 6's Heather Lewin explains, they've had an amazing journey with still a long way to go.

Like so many in New Orleans, Carl Brock, his brother Paul and their mother took shelter in the Superdome. For days they sat and worried as conditions slowly worsened around them. Carl Brock: "By the 5th day it got too bad to even stay in the dome." So they joined the crowds trying desperately to board buses, the two didn't even hope for themselves. Carl Brock: “We were just waiting there to see my mom get on a bus."

After a six hour wait, with mom off to a Houston shelter, the two made their own way and with help from Oklahoma relatives, landed in a Microtel in Claremore.

With little in their pockets, they set out to find work. Paul studied architecture in school, Carl, looking for clerical work, found it under his nose, when the hotel manager offered him a job. Carl Brock: "Yeah, when can I start? I filled out the application and she had me training in about two hours." Hotel manager Debera Wilkins: "He's not only touched our lives, our staffs' lives, the guests that come by here, he talks to them and they're just amazed. He never gets down, he's always positive.”

With a little more security, Carl is once again pursuing his true passions, art and poetry. His sketch books were lost in the flood, but when things were at their worst, he began writing again. "What's up with this thing today as the hurricane comes this way, everything is out of service. When it's windy, after closing the door, even the city." Carl Brock: "What happened in New Orleans at the Superdome was you can't describe it. It was just bad."

But the two are grateful, all of their loved ones are alive and safe and until they can go home, they're making a new one here in Oklahoma. Carl Brock: "I just thank God for the people that helped us. So many people helped us to get here and people are helping us now.”

The Brocks have only 3 more days of their free hotel stay. They're now on a waiting list for housing assistance and in the meantime, are trying to find a place on their own.