Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hurricanes Then and Now

   I was reading a post yesterday about the storm track of hurricane Irma, which stated that by the time it reached Indiana, it would be a "tropical depression". That reminded me of an incident from my youth. I swear it is true.

If my memory serves me correctly (and might if I were a better tipper), it was hurricane Carla in 1961. You can see from the map that Carla was a Category four when she touched down in Texas and then proceeded to make her way up to Canada. For the free healthcare, no doubt. When it passed through southern Illinois, there was an appreciable amount of wind over in southern Indiana where I was living at the time. I remember it was described to me as the "tail end of a hurricane". Home folks didn't talk about "tropical depressions" back then.

I was a strapping young lad in 1961. I had written to NASA that year about becoming an astronaut, but at eleven years old was already above the maximum height requirement. Spam in a can indeed! So maybe you'll believe me when I tell you what happened during that "tropical depression": a cardboard box blew into my yard... The kind they ship refrigerators in... It was a big honking piece of cardboard, and I, not having anything better to do, tied a rope onto that refrigerator carton and flew it like a kite. Danged if I couldn't keep it in the air for pretty long periods of time, even without a tail.

I don't remember if I quit because I got bored or if the wind simply died down. I suspect the latter. There weren't any kite flying contests that day, but I'm pretty sure I could have taken my division!

Jeffersonville Indiana, September 1961. Please don't tell CNN's Jim Acosta that we've had big hurricanes around since before he was born. He still thinks it's Obal-glay Arming-way.

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