Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dialogue on Hurricanes Present and Past

JOH asks: In following the endless hurricane coverage this past week I heard a number of commentators saying that this was a "rare" occurrence for this area. I heard least least two full grown reporters at waters edge saying that this was their "first hurricane." There was a meteorology student who was exited because he had never been in a hurricane before. Am I getting old or something?

LIZ K sez: " Yes. They are young, and you (we) are old. Or maybe we are not really old it's just that they are storm virgins. And we are not. Hard to believe it was the first for any of them on the air.. I don't even know how may evacuations I've been through. And how many storms pre-internet and pre-hi tech that we dealt with out there. I love that stuff.
The city never feels that sense of urgency that you get on the small island. That ocean is the best weather predictor there is.
Watching it day after day you just know when it's changed. I used to be amazed in late August coming up subway steps to an unaware city, "Don' t you people realize the swells building out there!? The wind has shifted three times this week! What are you people doing?"
There's nothing quite like those days leading up go a hurricane and potential evacuation. All the running about, the battening down, tie this, store that, shut the gas, "will this go bad"? move this there, grab him over there, "okay all together on three! Heave!" All the boats, the bikes, the lifeguard stands. And hoping to catch a dramatic but not too dangerous wave, hoping to find that right time to paddle out when its getting big but still doable.
I missed all that this year - high and dry in Brooklyn. But it's the same each year - dubious speculation, "are you leaving? Are you leaving?" Then the horns going off and the sense of drama and urgency just when the weathers most beautiful."
-- Liz Kelly

Perspective from a distance is best. Liz' writing from Brooklyn about old storms at Fire Island recalls James Joyce writing from Zurich about old times in Dublin.

Old song:
"I could never stay up on the shelf
Where the wind and rain I've never felt,"
(Kingston Trio).

(Who were Kingston Trio?
I dunno. Ask Blervin or someone from his "Slow Down Moses" chorus.)

No comments: