After the hurricane

Golden Eye after Hurricane Michael hit with full force. The neighbor’s house was destroyed and the trees were twisted and mangled. (Margaret Clayton)


Letter: Margaret tells her story of riding out Hurricane Michael in a Monolithic Dome home

[Editor’s Note: When Margaret Clayton saw our story, Hurricane Michael smashes power transformer into Monolithic Dome home, she wrote this fabulous letter and included some before and after shots of her unique dome home — Golden Eye.]

Wow! My dome home is featured by Mr. David South at Monolithic in Italy, Texas. Several years ago I visited Mr. South’s company to investigate building a dome — my pseudo-European vacation that summer.

I loved everything about the domes and was so impressed by everyone at Monolithic! So I located a lot on Beacon Hill by Mexico Beach, Florida — because I wanted to be near my brother, John, who is now deceased. Although I miss my brother every day, I have loved living in my dome I named GOLDEN EYE. When my husband — deceased also — and I lived twice in Bermuda in the 1960’s all the homes were named. There were no street names or numbers for mail. Just your home’s name and the parish in which you lived. Monolithic let me completely design GOLDEN EYE and I love living there.

I was not a bit afraid during Hurricane Michael. A South Florida newspaper said there were sustained winds of 185+ mph and gusts of 201 mph. I believe that as I watched the neighbor house explode and saw trees twist and fly apart. Debris pounded the dome viciously. My hurricane windows were fractured but held so no rain entered. My hurricane garage large door held, but was a bit bent at the bottom as it faced the full force of the hurricane. All the homes around me were destroyed or are uninhabitable. Except for the transformer and a board which wedged in the dome like a spear/javelin, GOLDEN EYE is fine. The other side of the dome is perfect! Living in a dome is a dream!

Even with no air conditioning the dome was pleasant. We had no electricity for a couple of weeks. I urge everyone to build a dome home. My dome is one street off the beach, and I knew I needed a strong structure to survive a hurricane.

I lived on Marco Island, Florida — on the water — for 33 years and was constantly worried about hurricanes. Even though my Marco home was lovely, it was what I call a “stick home” with vertical walls with conventional roofing.

A friend, Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, was the navigator on the ENOLA GAY which bombed Hiroshima in WWII. He told me that their crew went into Hiroshima weeks later and all was destroyed except for a dome — a Shinto shrine. It is still there. So Dutch said that if Tyndall Air Force Base near me bombed the area, I would be safe. He said this with a smile!

Mr. David South, Mr. Gary Clark and indeed everyone at Monolithic are wonderful and will help you realize that dome homes are the only safe structures in hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. They are also termite and rot proof! Also, I was thrilled to see that I have no bugs inside — something common in Florida. It is air-tight!

After the hurricane, the man who owned a home in front of me came over and sheepishly said, “I will never make fun of your home again!”

I could go on forever extolling the virtues of Monolithic Domes. It is prudent to investigate these if you wish to live in a safe home and protect your family

Again, Monolithic in Italy, Texas and South Industries in Menan, Idaho who sent the construction crew are wonderful, honest, honorable, and experts at their craft of building domes. No, they are not paying me to praise them. Their product and behavior towards people are their best testimony.

Hurricane garage door

The hurricane garage door held, but was bent at the bottom. Clayton said she couldn’t open the door. Her van was damaged in the hurricane, but survived. She also lost the right-side garage light. (Margaret Clayton)

Before the hurricane

A beautiful day before the hurricane. Note the trees in the back and the glass flowers “planted” around the home. (Margaret Clayton)

Glass flowers

Before the hurricane shot of some of the glass flowers she “planted” around her yard. (Margaret Clayton)

Gone with the wind

The Monolithic Dome home after the hurricane. Debris were everywhere. The power line lays across the home. “All around me was a disaster,” said Clayton. “My dome was safe. Note that my glass flowers were ‘gone with the wind’” (Margaret Clayton)

Neighbor’s house.

Clayton’s neighbor’s house is a complete loss. She described its destruction as an explosion. (Margaret Clayton)

Caterpillar home

A picture of Golden Eye before the hurricane. Clayton’s house is on a narrow lot in Port Saint Joe, Florida. Instead of a large dome, she built caterpillar-shaped dome home. Note the observation deck on the conventional structure. (Margaret Clayton)

Margaret and the bald eagle

Margaret Clayton earlier this year in England holding a 12-pound bald eagle named Irina. (Margaret Clayton)