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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first hurricane

I don't actually remember this story :  my mother always said I was 3 when this happened, which would make that 1966.  I just checked the 1966 hurricanes and I'm not sure ? if there was a hurricane that would warrant this story, happening in the Jersey Shore area ... so maybe I was 2?  I don't know, and my mother has gone to a better world, one where there is no more remembered trauma or even toilets ... all I can do is repeat the story as I've been told :

My parents had already purchased the house on First Ave along w/ the Cuddy's ... and there was this "evacuate! evacuate!" order, along with the rumor, "the bay is going to come up and the ocean is going to come down and they're going to meet in the middle and drown anyone in the way!!!!!!!!".  My father and my Uncle George were leaving!  My father was stunned when my mother decided she was staying AND - she was staying with "the baby" (which would be me).  Now, at this time, Uncle George and Aunt Edna had kids, and since I'm the only one in the this story, I'm assuming they left with Uncle George.  When my mother adamantly refused to leave - "I'm not leaving MY house!" - AND she adamantly refused to let go of me - "you're not taking MY child!" - my Aunt Edna felt she shouldn't be alone, so she stayed ... and my father waited and waited but unable to convince her, he evacuated ...

According to this story, it rained hard ... and it got very windy - oh the wind!  It got so windy that the house - built a few feet off the ground on wooden stilts - swayed side to side like a hammock between two trees, and my mother said I was so afraid of it that I slept that night on her chest, clinging to her!  That's always considered the "main point of it all" of telling this story, you see ...

The ocean didn't come rumbling down the ramp, and the bay didn't come up several blocks, either - in fact, that became a scare rumor that immediately went around, we were to learn, any time there was a hurricane.  My father never evacuated again.  Together, we always enjoyed the driving rain and lashing winds and that's where my love of staying in the edge of, or in Cat 1 maybe a 2, hurricanes, comes from!  No, I'm not an idiot who would stay put with a Katrina being predicted, thank you! 

Oh yeah, about that swaying house ... Dad went under the house and built concrete pillars, and so the rocking motion never happened again!

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