Friday, September 22, 2006

17 years since . . .

Yesterday/today is the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo's overnight landfall near McClellanville, SC. At the time, it was the worst storm to ever strike the United States. Of course, we've had Andrew and Katrina since then.

Hugo, though, remains my lone hurricane experience.

For all the college buddies who evacuated Charleston for the "safe havens" of Sumter, Columbia, Rock Hill, or even Charlotte, you must remember this storm, because you might have had equal or worse experiences thatnsome folks who stayed in the Low Country.

2 memories mark that experience for me--well three.

1. I got really mad at my mom because she refused to let me sleep upstairs during the storm. So instead I slept downstairs next to a huge window with no maternal challenge to this choice. Hmm . . . now I'm beginning to wonder. Seems I may have more to blog about than I thought.

2. During the storm, I woke up and noticed some light outside. It was my dad wandering around with a flashlight. I guess he wasn't going to fall for the old "sleep by the window" trick.

3. After the storm, I saw Channel 5's iconic anchor Bill Sharpe at a gas station in St. George. His hair was a mess and he needed a shave real bad. He was a walking understatement of what everyone had been through. We exchanged understanding glances--tips of the cap, if you will, to having more in common than we'd ever dreamed of.

There are the many images we all share in our memories, too, I bet. The Ben Sawyer Bridge twisted and left sideways at a 45 degree angle comes to mind. Don't forget the hole in the steeple of Lightsey Chapel, the beached shrimp boats, and the uprooted 500 year old oak trees. Each picture probably bears a ton of metaphor.

Folks from Katrina's path are still recovering. We share a common, dark heritage with them as well, and so we'll continue to offer our sisters and brothers our prayers and help, because we've been there, too.

This Monday night, the Saints will return to the SuperDome. Win or lose, I hope it will be a great sign of hope to many of our hurri-kin who experienced so much loss. Grab your black and gold umbrella and join the parade! May there be more "marchin' in" to come!

No comments: