[[Editor’s note: This story ran on KHOU.com on Sept. 3, 2017.]]
CYPRESS, Texas – Loren Jay Gough had just about had enough of the eerie quiet in his neighborhood.
For the first time in what felt like days, the rain from Hurricane Harvey had slowed to a drizzle and residents in the Lakewood subdivision could take a breath and step outside their homes.
But it was quiet, a bit too quiet for Gough.
So Gough, a guitar player in the band Engineered Society Project, grabbed his electric guitar, fired up his amp and opened his front door. He strung the guitar to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner, which echoed throughout the tall trees and piles of debris.
Sharye Fabbri heard the music a few doors down and ran to her front door as fast as her legs would take her. She turned on her camera and recorded the patriotic moment.
“It just felt like an imaginary flag was flying through the neighborhood,” she said.
Like Fabbri, nearby neighbors filled their driveways and porches and balconies. Once it was over, there was applause and cheer, almost as if it was a sign that the worst had passed.
Gough shut his door once he finished the song and went back inside his home. The moment was over, but not the feelings of hope and inspiration.
“It was like we were making it out, and it was incredible,” Fabbri said.
Fabbri posted the video on Facebook and it’s since gone viral—receiving more than 17,000 likes, 32,000 shares and 1 million views.
Gough said he didn’t do it for the recognition, just to break the silence. He said if he knew it would have gotten the attention it has, he probably wouldn’t have done it. But aside from the happiness and inspiration it’s created for his neighbors—and now millions online—there was a silver lining in it all for Gough.
“It’s about one of the only times you can turn an amp up to 11 and not get arrested,” he said.