Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Great Atlantic Hurricane and Me

This story is going to give my age away, oh well.  But, with hurricane Irene making her presence known, I felt it would be an appropriate time to tell this story.  Some might say I am focused or determined or have tunnel vision.  I do know when I have a goal I work til I get there.  Somewhat like a hurricane, nothing can stop her.  I wonder if a being born during a hurricane has any influence on my personality. Maybe, but then again I am always accused of looking through rose colored glasses. Guess I just like to look beyond the dark, windy, rainy days to the bright side.

It was on September, 7, 1944 when I entered this world; born on the Banana River Naval Base Hospital (known as Patrick Air Force Base today) in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  While in the hospital a hurricane warning was issued.  It was first detected on September 9, northeast of the Lesser Antilles.  It likely developed from a tropical wave several days before.  It moved northwestward and steadily intensified to a 140 mph (230 km/h) major hurricane on the 12th, northeast of the Bahamas.    The Miami Hurricane Warning Office designated this storm The Great Atlantic Hurricane, to emphasize its intensity and size, which appears to be the first time a name was designated by the office that evolved into the National Hurricane Center. 
Wood Plank Bridge
All patients at the Naval Base Hospital had to be evacuated.  My mother and I were put into the back of a military jeep that drove us over a wood plank bridge that crossed the Indian and Banana Rivers to a school in Melbourne and given a cot to lie on.  Later, we were moved to a small Melbourne hospital after the men were moved out of one ward to make room.

 My grandmother had arrived at the base to take us home just as we were being driven away.  My poor grandmother and father went into a panic trying to find us.  It took them until the next morning to find us partly because the military kept moving us about.  Thankfully, the hurricane turned northward and on the 14th it hit the Outer Banks.

I just love the first home I lived in. This adorable little cottage that sat on my grandparents property still exists today minus the front screened-in-porch.  I think I feel like Abe Lincoln.

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