Paul Phillips' house was overstuffed with wonderful art - his own.
In fig season, he hung an owl portrait to keep away hungry birds. Sometimes the 91-year-old sold paintings from his Finley Street porch in Gulfport and those invited in were amazed.
"Paul was incredibly talented," said Joey Giuffria, a former neighbor. "Once he had a studio in New Orleans and a painting school.
"Here he was in his golden years, financially strapped, but you could tell from his paintings that he once had life by the tail. He was highly educated. His command of English was fantastic. To be in his 90s and still have his faculties and still do art . . . "
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Giuffria was worried after Katrina when Phillips didn't answer e-mail. In the years he'd known him, no family had dropped by for visits so Giuffra had no one to call. Eventually, he located Phillips' name on the hurricane death list.
"Paul was the most interesting fellow, but it's like someone erased him," Giuffria said. "He deserves more than getting his name put on a death list and forgotten."