LAMBERT: ...About 4 or 5 o’clock, my son was in his basement trying to get water out, and he heard on the news that an elderly couple from River Plantation had been taken to the hospital, Life Flighted--the man to St. Thomas, the woman to Vanderbilt. They would not release their names. So, I called him back, and I said, ‘Just call the hospital and tell them your name, and tell them Grandpa’s name, and see if, if it’s them.’ So he called St. Thomas, and he said, “My name is Chuck Lambert, and I just heard that an elderly couple from River Plantation had been airlifted to St. Thomas, and we can’t find my grandfather, and his name is Joe Formosa, and his wife’s name is Bessie.” And all they would say is, “We have them.” So, I’m secretary to the Bishop for the Diocese of Nashville, so I called the Bishop, and I said, “Bishop, we, we’ve just arrived in Biloxi, and we have gotten word that my dad and his wife have been airlifted to St. Thomas. They will not tell us their condition. Can you please go to the hospital and meet my son?” He lives in Gallatin, and he said, “I’m on my way.” So, he went to Gallatin, and my son, Chuck, arrived at the hospital. And they told him that my father and his wife were deceased.
And (emotion in voice)--(pauses)--he called his two brothers, my older son and my younger son, and they got to the hospital. My younger son, as I was telling--Owen--was landlocked in Franklin; he lives off of Sneed Road, and it took him an hour and a half to get there. But my middle son had to identify my dad’s remains. And, the Bishop was there with him, and they called me, and my husband had just gone down to the casino, and when they called me, I just was hysterical. So my friend went down and got him, and we just got in the car and started drivin’ back home. Well, my phone charger blew up, literally blew up, because we had been on the phone so much, and I had had it in the, thing, and it just fell apart. So my phone battery went down; we used her phone, and my phone, and she didn’t have her charger.
Well, we lost contact then; we couldn’t get cell phone service, and uh, the last call we had gotten, they said, “you probably won’t be able to get back into Nashville.” But I said, ‘we’re comin’ in anyway.’ So, we drove all night from Biloxi, and we got here about 4 a.m. on the 3rd, which was Monday, not knowing if my dad’s house was flooded, if our house was flooded, not knowing anything. And, when we got here, um, they said they couldn’t release the bodies, because the medical examiner had to do his thing before they could release them. So, we lay down for a couple of hours, to try to get some sleep, and, um, my door bell rang about 7, and it was one of my neighbors, down the street, and she had lost her husband two weeks before. Her house had flooded; she had lost her car, her house, and everything, and she walked (emotion in voice) to our house, when she heard about my dad, to see what she could do to help us. Her daughter lost her house and car; they were homeless, and they were coming to see if they could help us. They had been evacuated by a boat, and got out--
U.S. and international copyright laws protect this digital content, which is provided for educational purposes only and may not be downloaded, reproduced, or distributed for any other purpose without written permission. Please contact the Special Collections Division of the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 37219. Telephone (615) 862-5782.