Herbert "Wizard" Gettridge, June 2014.

Herbert “Wizard” Gettridge, June 2014.

On June 6, 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing Herbert Gettridge, a retired master plasterer who built his own home on North Roman Street back in the 1950s. In February 2006, he was the first homeowner to move back into the Lower Ninth Ward — by weeks. A 2009 episode of Frontline, entitled “The Old Man and the Storm,” chronicled his struggle. In June, we talked about his life, his work, and the assistance volunteers provided to help get him and his late wife back into his home. When I told my friend, Errol Joseph that I was going to talk to Mr. Gettridge, he said: “You mean ‘The Wizard’?” I asked why he called him that and he responded: “Oh, the things that man could do with plaster.” Mr. Gettridge died on October 31, 2014.