The voice is steady, without flutter.
New Orleans was a magnet. Helen could not be kept away, Paul Gailiunas tells you. He admits what he feared the violence and unpredictability of a city wringing itself dry. But she wanted to be involved in the post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding.
After a year in Columbia, Helen Hill wanted to return to the bright yellow shotgun house trimmed in blue and Creole red. The house smiled, and the neighborhood kids gathered on the porch for lemonade, fresh fruit and attention.
She was brave, Gailiunas says. I relented, despite my fears.
He goes on to tell you how that
happened. How Hill, a Columbia native, pleaded. How her screams woke him up. How she was shot by an intruder.