NEW ORLEANS — Many are still rebuilding their homes after Hurricane Ida and are likely still waiting to see what insurance will pay to help.
A New Orleans musical icon is going through that same drawn-out process.
Clarence "Frogman" Henry's Algiers home is a treasure trove of his decades in the limelight. Along with hundreds of frog collectibles, there are pictures with Jimmy Buffet, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Ivana Trump, Allen Toussaint and the Beatles.
“I was with the Beatles for 21 days. We played 18 dates,” Henry remembers from back in the 1960's.
It was in the room with all the pictures, that Hurricane Ida took his prized possession, his first piano.
“When I was 15-years-old, my mama made me pay for it, $610 and it was in that corner and the water came in it and ruined it,” Henry said.
Now at 84-years-old, with labored mobility, Frogman Henry must rebuild again. That first piano sits in a room with caved-in ceilings. His bedroom is unlivable after Ida's rainwater poured into the shredded roof. His closet is a mold and mildew debris pile.
He is upset about the destruction of his vinyl collection, VHS tapes, one with the recording of the OJ Simpson trial, and all of his clothes. Like that first piano, Ida also took something just as special.
“A Saints jacket and it was a good, good jacket, and it went down in there,” he said.
So he shuts the doors to the damage and sleeps on a spare twin bed or the sofa.
“He's been living like this since the 29th (of August). I mean, he didn't want to come stay with me,” his daughter Cathy Henry said.
She’s the one who made sure he did not ride out the storm at home.
“God blessed me, you know like I was here by myself, and I've been abandoned and my baby girl came and rescued me,” Henry said. “My baby girl say, ‘That's my daddy. I'm gonna take care of my daddy.’ She cleans my house. She makes sure I got food."
“I got to do what I got to do. That's my daddy. You understand?" Catch said. "I'm kind of hurt. I'm crying right now, but you know, it's a struggle. It's hard."
Insurance adjusters said don't move anything, so his belongings deteriorate. Still, there’s been no decision and no claim money. That big out-of-pocket deductible weighs on his mind.
“It's been over a month. I should have received something,” Henry said.
“He's going to be alright you know. We going to make sure he's alright. We going to get his house back together and hopefully, I don't know what to say, he's just going to do better, I guess,” Cathy said.
Now the title of his first hit in 1956, "Ain't Got No Home," is a reality.
FEMA said you should take a lot of pictures and videos of the hurricane damage and then start cleaning right away. Molded items can pose a health risk. And they say to save all receipts.