Wachovia bought out

The thousands of locals who have accounts with Wachovia are about to watch their money change hands. The FDIC announced this morning that Citigroup has bought out the Charlotte-based bank and will absorb $42 billion of its losses. Longtime residents will remember that it wasn't that long ago that Wachovia was on the other end of a buyout. Back in the summer of 1997, when they gobbled up Charlottesville's Jefferson National Bank for $542 million and Richmond institution Central Fidelity Bank for $2.3 billion.


I'm not sure the Central Fidelity merger was a "bailout." Were they in trouble, or was it just another case of a bigger bank absorbing a smaller one? Wasn't it about the same time Wachovia bought Jefferson National?

I guess the good news, if there is any, is that there aren't a whole lot of Citibank branches around Central Virginia, so perhaps the job losses here will be minimal.

Dear Music Lover,

Thanks for jogging my memory. Indeed, Wachovia bought Jefferson National a mere two weeks before they bought Central Fidelity. Note the addition above.

Lindsay Barnes

So how many banks are there left in this country now that Wachovia and Washington Mutual are gone? There's Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo in the West, ummm, ummm.

BB&T is left and strong.

I think there should be one bank, period! Then they could charge $5 for every check you write. A $10 fee for every bill you pay online out of your checking account (the City of Charlottesville already gets $15 if you use a bank debit card to pay monthly utilities). They could charge a $100 a month service charge for checking accounts with a balance less than $50,000 each month. They could charge you a 20% penalty for moving $5,000 from a savings account to a checking account. They could even do like DMV, they could charge you $5 extra for walking in their front door and requesting services in person rather than doing it online.

OK, on a more serious note -- about 6 months ago there were rumors flying around about withdrawing your money from banks and burying it in your back yard. Nobody listened then, nobody will listen now.

And to address something noted earlier by Music Lover, Jefferson National and Central Fidelity were both willing sellers to Wachovia.


Lindsay Barnes

I moved to Nelson County in 1987 and bought a home near Lovingston. On August 19, 1969 I lived in the city of my birth, Charlottesville, thirty five miles up US 29 to the north. That night I awoke at 3:00AM to find a near dawn like glow illuminating the bedroom. I arose and walked to the living room to see the cause and looking out the picture window discovered that torrential rain was falling and the continual flashes of lightning were lighting the scene with a blue / white glow.
I awoke my wife and donned my bathing suit to go outside to check the drain in my basement stairwell only to find I could not breathe without partially covering my mouth and nose. In the morning the rain had stopped and Charlottesville was coming awake in its sodden landscape. When I ventured into my front yard on my way to work I noticed several small bird sitting in a small maple tree next to my frontwalk. All very dead but still sitting on the limb where they had taken refugee.
Warren and Carl Raines started their lives after the tragedy that had decimated their family without a wimper or accusation of neglect. Perhaps they could teach New Orleans a thing or two about determination and real grit. I have nothing but admiration for the people of Nelson County who put their community back together with the blessed help of the Mennonite volunteers.

Good Morning,

I was wondering if their is a place where I could purchase a copy of the book Hook? If their is could you please let me know thanks. I have a 10 yr old daughter interested in history that would love to read it.

Trudy Jamerson

i was just a small kid when my father carrington sr. brought us to back to his home on one of our trips .. this time we came to see the flood area and see how our relatives were fairing .. one family member lost a couple of houses in the flood we lost 7 relitives in the flood but there are still some of them living in the area to the date...

I was born on August 29th, ten days after Camille hit. Every birthday I ever had up until my grandmother passed away in 1994, I heard the story of the flood. Though I had just come into the world, the stories my grandmother and others of her generation give me vivid pictures of the damage and the coursge of that time. It's interesting that even today, people use those events to mark time. When Camille hit, time is divided into "before The Flood" and "after The Flood" (the capital letters can be heard in the voice of the person speaking). Every August 19th, and every time a hurricane warning is posted, every Nelson-born resident holds his or her breath.

I was raised in Nelson County. In fact, I and my sister, Yulita and my brother, Bruce Johnson were on Davis Creek at the time of the flood. I was 1, Yulita 4, and Bruce was 6. Our grandparents had a farm in the Davis Creek area. We were all originally reported to be missing and presumed dead. My mom said the water the night before sounded like a train coming through and she saw houses slide off the mountains.The next day, my parents, Charles and Evelyn Jackson said that they walked from their house in the gap of Lovingston toward Davis Creek. My mom said she stopped at Floyds Store (now Sunny Mountain) because the water was up to her chest. My Dad walked on and was joined by his sister, Mable and his brother, Warren. They actually met up with their father, (my grandfather) on US 29 coming from home and he told them that our family was okay. The Huffman families who lived in the area were the hardest hit and they were within about 2 miles of where we were.

I just completed reading "Roar of the Heavens". It was ,indeed, a riveting book but Mr. Bechtel needs a geography lesson. Page 122 - The James River forms the southeast border of Nelson County, not Southwest. Page 140 and page 190 - Lowesville is on the Piney River, not the James. Page 198 & 199 - The Rockfish River is downstream of the Tye River, not upstream. Also page 199 - At Howardsville - the James is the border between Buckingham and Nelson Counties, The Rockfish is the border between Albemarle adn Nelson Counties. And page 220 - Amherst County is not across the james from Nelson County. At Rte.29 it's across the Tye River. One other note - page 175 - Moses was found in the bullrushes, not Jesus.
I hope these mistakes are fixed before the next printing.

Is Torn Land still available to purchase? My parents were born and raised in Nelson County. My father in Piney River and my mother in Arrington. We had a copy of this book when I was a teenager, given to us by my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George F. Hilbish of Piney River. I could not find the book after my mom passed and have wanted a copy.

Please let me know if this book is still available.

David Hilbish
San Diego, CA

I had just turned 12 when Camille hit and my father took the family to Massie's Mill from Augusta County to do what we could to help and see how bad the damages were. Such a God Awful site for a child to see let alone go through and survive. We had family and friends in the Massies Mill, Tyro, Nash, White Rock areas where the Tye River flooded. I can remember huge boulders as big as houses, an larger, in the middle of narrow two lane blacktop country roads and single lane, one-vehicle wide, country dirt roads; dirt roads down the side of the mountain partially washed/eroded away at the edges that made it so precarious to even contemplate getting a car through let alone a logging truck with heavy equipment; the smell--nasty, stinking red clay and other odd smells that to this date at age 52 are enough to bring one to their knees; the roar of the rushing waters, receding but still running fast and carrying debris that crashed/banged into anything to stubborn to move; the total devastation of a small community and the miracle of a church still standing in one piece, no broken glass, and totaly surrounded by water but somehow, amazingly on high ground. While it is true that Katrina might have been the worst hurricane in 100 years, it had nothing on Camille in 1969. Residents of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans had days of warnings that the hurricane was going to hit; they deal with that type of event each and every year. The residents of small rural mountain hamlets in central Virginia had no clue whatsoever--no warning that something like this could or ever would happen to their little communities; no clue how to prepare for or how to deal with the situation; no clue what to expect or what to do to preserve their families or how to cope with the devastation or aftermath. They went on with the daily lives as they normally did, totally oblivious what the day would bring and how it would unfold in the middle of the night. They were mountain people and well capable of dealing with a little rain. The people of New Orleans could learn a thing or two, maybe more, from those just plain simple mountain folk in Nelson County. Forty years after the fact, these people are still there. They picked up the pieces and what was left of their lives and tried to move on and make something better than what they had had as kids. I'm sure a lot of them still sit on pins and needles come spring and early fall when the rains come for days on end or when it comes up a sudden downpour. Me, personally, I don't like heavy rain, and thunderstorms set my nerves on edge, even in an area that very rarely sees coastal storms. To the long-time residents of Nelson County--remember your roots and what kind of stock you come from. Your ancestors were the pioners of this country and made you what you are today--determined, hard-working simple people. Be proud of yourselves and carry on the family traditions.

As a boy of 12, I was living in Fluvanna County when Camille hit. For the past 17 years I have lived in Hattiesburg, MS about 70 miles north of where she first landed in Bay St. Louis, MS.

While, I didn't have the devasation that our neighbors in Nelson County did, the images from the TV, and Daily Progress still are vivid in my mind. I remember how Massies Mill, Scottsville, Bremo Bluff, Columbia, Charlottesville and even Palmyra looked after the storm.

As a Katrina survivor as well, I can now fully appreciate what my parents and many like them went thru on the night of August 19, 1969 as far as the fear and rebulding their families lives. Then 3 years later we got to do it again on a smaller scale with Agnes.

I have been thru 5 major hurricanes/typhoons in my life. The thing I am proudest of is the resilence of the American spirit whether it's in Okinawa, Virginia or Mississippi. Everytime I hear of a group of Virginian's in Mississippi to help rebuild the Southern end of our State, I am proud to be reminded of the Commonwealth of which I lived and love.

People are amazed when I tell them our story of Camille and how almost as many died and are missing as in the Mississippi. They are even more amazed when I show the the scars on the mountains still evident in 2006 when I was home last.

The story of Camille should always be told, just like the story of the Galveston Hurricane in the early 1900's and of course Katrina. Each of us has our own story, but more importantly each of us must learn from the past.

I will be back in Virginia in October 2008, and as usual I will make my normal pilgrimages to Monticello, UVa, Palmyra, Schuyler, and the scarred maoutains that are so dear to me.

We had barely moved from the Miller house to Pennsylvania before Camille. My grandmother lived in Roseland at the time but thankfully was not affected and was safe. The people of Nelson County are of the most hardworking, honest and strong of this country. This is to the Lawhorne's who still reside there and are still amazing survivors!!! We came from PA shortly after when I was 9 - I remember parts of the damage - but not much. After last month's visit to Cox's Creek nothing seems to have changed. What a wonderful place to live and raise children.

I'm from Massie's Mill, Nelson County - My two sister's had went for the summer to work out of state - my mom sent me for the summer of August to stay with my oldest sister in Washington, DC. I was only fourteen at the time. My dad, mom and youngest brother was at home on that terrible night when Camille hit. My cousin had just came from work and cross the Massies Mill bridge, then the bridge collapse. He stopped by my parents house to tell them that water was rising in the Mill. My father got dress and went walimg to Massies Mill to discover on the top of the hill as he looked down all he could see was water and houses overturning and people screaming for help, but it was nothing that he could do but yelled and try to tell them to hold on to trees and try to find some way to the mountain and hold on. When I got a call they told me and my sister that my mom, daddy and brother was floating down the river holding hands, you know how I felt inside. the only thing that saved our house was the way it was sitting, but we did had the heavy rain and uprooted trees and no roads - it was too much to bear, helicopter's was landed in our yard bring to bring food and water to my parents.I lost a lot of peoples. I was just at home talking about to my sister about the how blessed I was that my parent's sent me away. Sometimes when it rain so hard the creeks start flooding and the water start rising in the river, making the river overflow, everytime I go home I think about that night of August 1969. I will be always in my heart and the people that I lost during that time. I have two children and I tell them stories about that night. It's a beautiful place to live and I'm about to retired and I'm thinking about come back home to live in Massie's Mill where my grandfather had land. If anyone know the Brown's in Massies Mill, I want you to know I love you all. Let's pray for one another and thank God for our parents.

I just finished reading "Roar of the Heavens" and I just can't describe how sorrowful it was to read of the innocents lost in that terrible tragedy. I was deeply saddened by the loss of life on the Gulf Coast due to Camille, but at least folks there had some warning. My wife and I are blessed with three young children whom we love deeply, so I cannot imagine the horrors faced by families that night. I'm sorry to all of you who lost family and friends because of Camille.

Incidentally, my step-father (Cosby Cunningham III) and his family (Shirley, Marie, Billy, Linda, etc.) grew up in Allen's Creek near Gladstone before most moved to Richmond. His dad worked for the C&O Railroad out of Gladstone. Does anyone know how the 1969 storm affected this part of Nelson County?

Also, my family visited the area in June 2007 and we noticed how low the area was in relation to the James River. In addition, we are big fans of "The Waltons," so we visited the Walton's Mountain Museum in Schuyler I'm wondering how that area was affected as well by the Rockfish River.

I was given a copy of "Roar of the Heavens" by a lady living next door to my Aunt Marie in Lynchburg. I just had no idea that this took place or even could for that matter.

The house I live in now, near the Rivanna River, was flooded up to the first floor (or so the original owner told me), back then. The outside foundation was washed away. They re-landscaped it. I was in school at UVa in 1969 but was home on summer vacation in Ohio.

The house next door to mine was damaged so badly in 1969, it split in half.

Looking out on the back yard you can still see the contours where the topsoil was washed away, under the grass. Originally my yard was flat, now it slopes about 5-6 feet.

My father is Garland Wright and spent much of the day after getting to people in Massies Mill with a couple other farmers. He spent a good number of days afterward in helicopters looking for the missing and helping deliver food. He is my hero but there were a number of other heros that day. The Mennonites will always have a special place in my heart. I lost a number of friends including Sandy Raines. I pray for all affected and it is a time I will never forget. It was a great place to grow up and I miss the rural country charm and caring of the people who lived in Nelson County.


It's good that this aspect of Camille is being documented. Events like this often are overshadowed by the landfall damage.

I would like to correct a poster above regarding how much advance notice people on the Gulf Coast had of Camille's landfall. There were not "days of warning" per se; the best forecasting methods available in 1969 did not predict Camille would hit the Mississippi coast until around 14 hours before landfall. The coast went to bed Saturday night expecting the storm to hit Louisiana.

my grandparents were in camille in pass christian- hid under a stairwell and somehow survived- i remember going down there at3 1/2- remember the shrimp boots washed up, steps to nowhere, total devastation-it should not be buried or forgotten- my grandparents wouldn't talk about it-so i had to learn through books-roar of the heavens was the best book i've ever read on camille-i lived in richmond and remember the james flooding with debris from nelson county- the three years later with agnes and driving to willow lawn to get water from the army trucks-i wish my grandparents could have talked about it- that gneration is now gone-

I was 7 at the time of camille and have a couple of memories to share.I remember wakeing up at a hotel in maryville Tennessee and seeing the story of camille flooding nelson and the surrounding areas and we came to the realization that we had driven from the lynchburg Roanoake area the day after this happened . The other memory has to do with my relatives most of which live in nelson and the general area.My grandma Fox who lived about five miles from what would be wintergreen lived far enough up the hill to not be harmed by the water but not being able to go anywhere we ask her if she needed food.My grandma laughed and said she had enough canned food in her cellar to eat from for three years.

I grew up hearing all the stories about the flood from my Grandad, Dad, uncles, and aunts. About our cousins, the Zirkle family and the events that took place there on that dreadful night. Now, when we go to Tyroe to visit my family that still resides there at the old homeplace, Dad shows me where he and my grandparents had to park their car and wade in waist deep water the next few miles up Tyroe to check on our surviving relatives. He shows me where relatives homes used to be before they were washed away. I wasnt born until ten years later, and my curiousity about that night has always lingered when im there with my loved ones that were around when it all happened, but i rarely ask about it because i dont want to remind them of it. I dont believe it should be forgotten tho.

My mothers family is from Nelson County and Lovingston. A couple years ago my grandmother and I were coming back from Lynchburg visiting her sister, I was driving and I said granny look at that mountain the rock is coming out the top thats crazy. She told me bout Camille. I learned that we had family that was never found. I stopped and took a picture of the mountain and I will never forget how I felt, the difference in her voice changed as she was telling me about the flood of 69. My grandmother died 2 months ago, we were cleaning out her house and I found the "Special Review of Camille's Visit to Va." It is unreal to see the pictures.

I was back in Virginia over the holidays, and drove through Nelson County as well as Scottsville. The scars on the mountains in Nelson County are still as vivid as they were 42 years ago. May we all remember and support those whose lives were changed on August 19, 1969.