Maypearl resident Garry Bishop went to church on May 19 like he did every Sunday. It wasn’t 30 minutes into service that he was told he needed to get home.
By the time he got there, it was gone.
Bishop ran home and found that his house had burned to the ground. The fire was electrical and originated from his AC unit.
“I got home and it was gone,” he said. “It flat burned to the ground.”
He said since the fire, the Maypearl community has rallied around him and made it easier to handle the crippling loss. People have bought him clothes “with the tags still on them.” He’s received so much he’s had to turn some donations down because he has nowhere to keep them.
“I can honestly say what it’s like to walk away with nothing but the clothes on my back,” Bishop explained.
Bishop said things can be replaced, but the hardest part of the fire was losing all the memories and photos that were left inside. Photos of his late sister, parents and grandparents were all destroyed in the blaze.
“It’s hard knowing all the memories are gone,” he said.
Bishop said he still doesn’t know what to do while he handles the insurance, but in the meantime, he is living with his sister who lived across the street from his home.
“I don’t know what to do,” Bishop explained.
While Bishop figures out whether to rebuild or buy a new home, the community is planning a benefit to raise money for Bishop, Maypearl Chamber of Commerce president Geneva McAskill said.
The benefit will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. on July 13 at Mo’s Central Plaza on Main Street. It will be a $20 cover charge to hear live music, McAskill explained.
Many of the musicians are donating their time for Bishop’s cause.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bishop added. “I never felt such love before in my life.”
Bishop’s daughter Shelly Clements said it has been heartwarming to see Maypearl help her father during such a hard time.
“He lost pretty much everything,” she said.
One of the hardest parts for her is losing the place she shared so many memories with her family. Bishop lived in the home for 19 years and she remembers all the holidays spent at the house.
“It can be rebuilt, but it will never be the same,” Clements said.
Clements said her father is set when it comes to clothing, but he needs money or gift cards to help rebuild and pay for groceries while he stays with his sister.
Bishop said everything the community has done for him has been overwhelming and unbelievable. He noted that everywhere he goes he gets hugs and love from his Maypearl neighbors.
“It’s just flat overwhelming,” You think the world is such a mess and then people go and do this. Then it doesn’t seem so bad.”
Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty