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After The Storm

Updated: August 7, 2008, 11:32 PM ET
By Amy K. Nelson
WIGGINS, Miss. -- On a recent Friday night, the heavens turned an ominous swamp-water green. The temperature began to plummet, and the air smelled fresh, like a freshly washed sheet.

Matt Lawton knew this meant rain was near. Lawton, a 12-year veteran of the major leagues, has called the Gulf Coast his home for 37 years. Retired from baseball, he now spends much of his time at Grand Bear Golf Course, tucked away in the middle of the Mississippi woods in an area the locals call Pine Valley, reachable only through a bending 6-mile road that makes you feel as though you're taking a drive in "The Blair Witch Project." Sometimes, as thunder grumbles, the rain will beat down with such violence that the dirt and gravel roads littering the sides of U.S. Highway 49 will flood, stranding residents.

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