the two Ernestos

Ernesto could be the perfect storm. I’m posting this input after listening to the latest report which puts the storm as a minimal Tropical storm about midway between Cuba and South Florida. The forecaster had a tear in his eye as he used the term “minor” severe storm. That sounded like an oxymoron to me but he just couldn’t bring himself to say that we were going to just have a good rain storm later in the week and let it go at that. Also, the total hurricane system is in full motion now with evacuations, shelters, emergency services etc etc etc and there’s just too much momentum for anyone to admit this is just a ho hum summer storm. When I say Ernesto could be the perfect storm, what I mean is that we get plenty of rain to start filling the lake; not much wind so we don’t have things flying around and trees crashing down around us; schools close so the kids get an unexpected break; and we lose power for a while. In a perfect storm we’d lose power for exactly one tank of gas in the new generator so that the expense and hard work in setting it up and cabling is justified.. My biggest worry is Joey riding it out on the boat. I noticed a couple of pilings near his boat that still had not been reset since the last storm and I have some concerns about those breaking loose and acting like torpedos in the marina. I’m also concerned that when it breaks loose of Florida it will strengthen and head up the east coast, potentially screwing up our planned trip next week. We were going to take the real coastal route including the ferries and all the outerbanks – which may not exist after a good storm. The other thing I’m really interested in seeing is how the beaches fare. The counties and state have just spent about $40M in sand restoration which really seemed dumb to me. Storms pull out sand and deposit sand – it’s just a fact of nature and I always cringe when politicians get in the loop and try to fight mother nature.

But the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Ernesto is my grandfather. I barely remember him since he died when I was about 5 years old but there’s still a mind picture way down deep. He was white haired with a big bushy mustache and most often smoking a big, black cigar. I remember sitting around the big table eating an Italian feast where the food just kept coming, and coming and coming. A huge bowl of pasta was just a small part of the whole event but I remember being stuffed before they cleared the table and broke out the turkey. My grandfather kept saying, “eat, eat, mange mange or something like that.No wonder I turned into a fat kid. He was born in Italy but I don’t know where or when. He was fairly old when my father was born to his second wife and my dad was born in 1916. So my best guess is that he was probably born in the 1870’s. I get to that by estimating he was in his late 50’s or early 60’s when he died in 1945. He was a pharmacist in Italy and opened a drug store when he immigrated to Philadelphia. That was probably in the time frame between 1900 and 1910 but I can’t be certain about that either. I do have one picture of him that I check from time to time, especially since they named the storm after him. I wonder how they knew???

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