For Robert Pike, what Andrew gave a new wife it also later took away.
Pike, a divorced father with a 10-year-old son, had been dating a woman for about six months when Andrew set its sights on South Miami-Dade. Concerned about the safety of the mobile home the woman shared with her two children, Pike offered his Homestead home as shelter.
When it was over, only his place was still standing though heavily damaged. A shed roof had cut through both hurricane shutter and window, rip-sawing a bedroom. A tree limb had pieced a shutter, the window and his sons bed.
It turned out to be a marriage of convenience, said Pike, a long-time science teacher at South Dade High who recently retired. We had to live together.
The stress of putting life back together strained rock-solid marriages. It was soon clear, he said, that this one didnt have a chance. It was done in two years.
Had Andrew not happened, I doubt we would have continued in the relationship, but whos to say?
Still, Pike believes the scars made him a wiser, better and more positive man today. If the romantic fireworks fizzled, he saw things that night so strange and beautiful he has often thought about trying to paint them arcs of spitting blue sparks from snapping power lines and towering cloud walls that looked conjured by a movie studio.
In terms of life experience, I came very close to death but the sound was amazing and the lights were amazing. And the relationship, the struggle to get things back together, was a terrible challenge but also amazing when I look back on it now.
Hurricane Andrew 20 years later
- The Intro
- The Captain
- The Emergency Manager
- In Country Walk
- At Turkey Point
- Stories of comfort
- Broward bound
- The Weatherman