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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Grandma watches little boy after Katrina hits

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Edie Campe photo

Tristan John Bell, of New Orleans, was evacuated with his parents to Fort Worth in order to escape the path of Hurricane Katrina. Tristan is currently in the care of his grandmother, Rhea Modesitt of Terre Haute, great-grandparents, Brenda and Speck West of Brazil, and great-aunt, Gina Saunders of Brazil, until he can be reunited with his parents, Misty Modesitt and Nick Bell.

When Hurricane Katrina was in sights and had the possibility of hitting New Orleans, the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse, La., near New Orleans evacuated military personnel to the Fort Worth, Texas, Naval Air Station.

Petty Officer 1st Class Misty Modesitt called her mother, Rhea Modesitt of Terre Haute, and told her that she and her husband Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Bell would be evacuated from their home on the following Thursday (Sept. 1).

Misty and Nick prepared for evacuation and feared for the worst. They packed up their 19-month-old son, Tristan John Bell, the family dog, Fizzgig, and their cat, Rat. Once in Fort Worth, Misty and Nick found that there was not enough room for the animals or their son.

Misty again made a phone call to her mother. Rhea and her mother, Brenda West of Brazil, drove to Fort Worth, over Labor Day weekend, to pick up the displaced Tristan, Fizzgig and Rat.

Once they got back to Indiana, the grandmother and the great-grandmother of Tristan needed to make plans as to who would watch him.

Tristan's grandmother, Rhea, lives in Terre Haute and works in Indianapolis. His great-grandparents, Brenda and Speck West, own the West Apple Orchard north of State Route 340 on C.R. 500W. They decided that Rhea would drop Tristan off at the West's home around 6 a.m. Tristan would hang out around the ochard all day until 4 p.m. when his great-aunt, Gina Saunders of Brazil, would come and pick him up. She would take him home and wait for grandma Rhea to pick him up again and take him to her home.

It must be hard to entertain a little boy all day while trying to work at the same time. Tristan has all the toys and attention he needs and of course, all the apples he can eat.

At this point in time, the West's do not know how long it will be before Tristan can be re-united with his parents, but for right now, they are just thankful that he and his parent's were able to make it out of the path of the hurricane.

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