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Evacuees take shelter with Strawn family after fleeing Hurricane

by Domenick Esgro, Journal staff

Hurricane evacuees Tony Livingston and Ashlee Applewhite of the Gainesville area were in the parking lot of Harveys grocery store along SR 71 in Blountstown Saturday afternoon, sitting in lawn chairs with their two dogs and a cat, when Lynn Strawn noticed them and felt the urge to ask, “Do y’all need anything?”

Little did they know it would be the start of a friendship that will endure more than a storm.

Livingston, who is an attorney, was skeptical at first of their offer to stay at their home, said Strawn.  She and her husband Edwin gave them time to talk it over while they ran some errands. When the Strawns returned, they invited the couple to a local Catholic church for dinner that evening, which they accepted.

When it turned out the church dinner was canceled, they went to a local restaurant and enjoyed a meal together while getting to know one another.

Afterwards, the couple moved their motor home and trailer next to the Strawns’ house and joined them inside for a visit before retiring for the evening.

“Tony was so polite and courteous,” Strawn said.  When he asked if he could use the restroom she said, “Honey, you go right ahead, you don’t have to ask.”  When he returned to the room they had a laugh when she held up a bed pan and told him it was his “personal bathroom” he could use whenever he pleased.

Sunday they had to make a choice.  Push on, or stay.  They were torn so they decided to flip a coin.  Heads they leave, tails they stay.  Lynn Strawn flipped the coin.  “Tails!” she said.  “Well I guess we’re staying!” Livingston replied.

Tuesday morning they were saying their goodbyes and getting back on the road.  “They called about an hour and a half away from home and said they were taking the back roads and having a safe trip.”

Their stopover during a difficult time may have been brief but it left them with some good memories as they headed home to see how Hurricane Irma’s trip through the state had affected their neighborhood.

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Date
September 22nd, 2017

Author
Staff

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