September 29, 2016 – CARLA! September 3 – September 17, 1961
Say “Hurricane Carla” to anyone who was living along the Texas or Gulf Coast in 1961 and the memories come forth. I was twelve years old. There were three television channels that showed fuzzy black and white pictures of a huge storm approaching.
Weather forecasters said “move to sturdy buildings, such as those made of brick.” This was about as helpful as “get under your desks and put your hands over your head in the event of an atomic bomb.”
Most the town of Magnolia, Texas moved into the high school. Besides Celeste’s house, the school buildings were the only brick buildings in town.
One special memory stands out for me. Not the horizontal rains, or the high winds blowing down trees in all directions, but Hurricane Mama.
Communications were limited to transistor radios (Google it) and there were very few of those. Nevertheless, those in the shelter learned the eye of the storm was approaching. When the eye approached, I knew there would be an extraordinary calm. It was as though the storm took a deep breath before continuing.
During the calm I ran outside the doors by the science and home ec classrooms, turned left in front of the school and ran all the way to the front of the auditorium and reentered the building. About the time I got down the hall to Mr. Lyon’s, Mr. Tergerson’s and Celeste’s offices, my Mama met me and dragged me by one arm back to the family while giving me a tongue lashing worthy of the rest of the storm about to pass.
But I smiled the entire time. Fifty-five (55) years later I can say I ran through the Eye of Hurricane Carla.
What’s your Hurricane Carla Story?