My name is Pam Adams, and my husband, Warren and I own what was dubbed as the “Last House Standing” in Gilchrist near Rollover Pass. Our home became known after Hurricane Ike when a photographer during a fly over took the picture of our home that was broadcast worldwide. After repairing our home, we decided Gilchrist needed a new business, so we purchased the property across from us on the bay side and built FantaSea BBQ and Grill. We enjoy meeting so many that just pass through our peninsula and who stop and eat. We hear so many stories, meet so many new found friends, along with all our neighbors up and down our peninsula, and both have supported us in every way.
Some have asked why we stayed and repaired our home. FantaSea is my…dream home. It would have been easier to walk away after Hurricane Ike and lived somewhere else, but how could I ever do that? Warren and I discussed it and both decided to walk away. Then the day came for the look-and-leave visit. It was a heart-wrenching time in the lives of so many people. I stood there on my deck watching so many neighbors sitting in line to be cleared to cross Rollover Pass. Some were honking, some were waving, some were high fiving, and my heart went out to them.
Warren and I knew our home was still here, and we knew what we had left, yet here were these people all giving us their own blessings even though they did know if they had a home left. Still we kept our word to move back to Baytown. Then one day, I was driving down Hwy. 87 towards my home, and the sunset shining under my home caused me to pull over and just sit and look at her. I knew at that moment that I could not walk away. The feeling I had was that this picture was the most beautiful, heartfelt sight that I’d ever seen. My crippled home sat engulfed in the sunset on the Gulf.
Somehow, I knew at that moment that we could not walk away from her. She didn’t float away from us, or be blown to pieces, so we had to roll up our sleeves and give it one more try to live by the water. So many stopped by, so many wanted us to stay, and once some of us on the Bolivar BLUE Yahoo Group decided to have a Meet and Greet at Gregory Park it was finalized. We had connected with so many dear friends and we were going nowhere. On that day we met so many neighbors on the peninsula that have to this day become family.
Some have asked why I love the Bolivar Peninsula. It’s the people who make up the peninsula and call it home or visit when they can. They are the most determined group of good folks that I have ever met in my life and they are the reason I love the place as I do. I am humbled to think that Warren and I started out nine years ago at Rollover Pass for a weekend fishing trip. That adventure ended up with owning a home, (which we lost to Rita) and then building FantaSea in it’s place, and now a business, just amazes me.
I feel a huge sense of shared pride each time I have to leave the peninsula due to my work schedule and return to see new pilings going up and knowing that finally someone else is coming back home…where their hearts are.
Our future plans are to continue serving our friends, neighbors and the peninsula at FantaSea BBQ & Grill. We are closed now for the season, but will reopen during spring break and are counting the hours until we see our friends gather back there for fun, good food, and lots of beach style fellowship.
I’m happiest when I am at the beach, with my flipflops and capris on, the sun is shining, and feeling the breezes off the Gulf. I feel that the Bolivar Peninsula is the “theme for all I dream.”. It’s where I want to spend the rest of my life among so many great friends. I stand on my deck, watching the sunset and say “Wow, God has blessed me, and I know that.” He helped me through the loss of my daughter Christi, the loss of my parents, breast cancer, Hurricane Ike, and through His strength I find my own.
Thank you to each of you for supporting us each step of our journey. We appreciate each of you more than you will ever know.
To my Sisters of the Salt, thank you to each of you for being by my side. Each of you amazes me with your thoughtfulness. Thick or thin, you’re all in. True friends are the ones that rush in when all the others rush out, and that describes the SOS girls (and their mates) perfectly.
Pam Adams is one of the original Sisters of the Salt, and in fact, coined the phrase that is used in “Winds over Bolivar.” She now has a new assignment for the author, “The Tides that Bind.”