John Wimbish never thought he would be packing up his life at his family home.
The home Wimbish’s father owned on Dempsey Street in the Hillcrest neighborhood on Corpus Christi’s Northside had been in the family for more than 70 years. Wimbish’s grandfather originally purchased the home in the predominately minority neighborhood and later his family lived in it. Then he lived in it as he began his career as a teacher and coach more than a decade ago.
Wimbish, now a physical education teacher at Driscoll Middle School and assistant football coach at Miller High School, recalls the day he locked the door for the last time almost a year ago, memories of his family’s life flooding over him.
“It was like somebody died,” Wimbish said. “I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that. When I locked the door for the last time, I sat on the porch and I probably cried for like two or three hours. And then I went to the new house and when I came back they already had the boards up. I was like, man it’s crazy.”
Wimbish is proud of his Hillcrest roots, as is his sister, Margaret, but he is also not alone in going through the pain of selling a family home to make way for the new Harbor Bridge.
The same fall Miller High School’s football team is having one of its best seasons in more than a half century, the neighborhood that is home to many of its athletes is slowly fading away.
Residents are slowly moving from homes that have been in families for generations to make way for the billion-dollar bridge project, and Wimbish and other Hillcrest residents are building new lives in new homes and new neighborhoods in their city.
It is why the accomplishment of this year’s Buccaneers means so much. Miller’s district championship and 10-0 season remains a beacon for a neighborhood facing the reality of being a memory in a few years.