05 October 2005

10 Years Ago Today

I was settling in for a good night's sleep.

Not at my home. Not in my bed. And not on my pillow.

It was early on the morning of October 5, 1995 that I learned several things:
1) It's not comfortable sleeping on my office desk.
2) A burlap mailbag does not make for a comfortable pillow.
3) It was damned hot in that building without A/C, even in early October.

Hurricane Opal tore through the Florida panhandle and into much of south Alabama a decade ago. It was still about a category-2 hurricane as the eyewall passed about 15 miles west of Troy, Alabama, where I was living at the time.

I was on the air during all the bedlam ... and then, thinking it wasn't THAT bad, set out to get back home. I discovered, with all the trees and power lines down everywhere, that getting home was not an option! Fallen oaks - HUGE oaks - blocked both sides of the street leading toward my neighborhood! So I had to double back to the station and spend the night in a dark and windowless void, with only a single flashlight to guide the way.

I managed to get home late that next afternoon. And we had no power for about a week. Our engineer was powering our generator on aviation fuel (he said it burned longer) ... and its sweet smell filled our hallways that entire night. Even today, when I get the slightest whiff of aviation petrol, it brings the whole experience back.

It's now a decade in my past, but it still seems like yesterday.

Ciao for Niao.

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