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Nowhere to Run

If you are from a smaller place and you move to a bigger place, everyone in the smaller place likes to warn you about all the bad things that can happen to you in the bigger place.  When I was in the Navy I was stationed in the Washington DC area, which was the big city compared to my hometown.  People used to tell me don’t go here or there, at this time or that, and watch out for DC people in general as they are not to be trusted.  It seemed just a matter of time before a boy like me might be bamboozled, hoodwinked, and sent home with my tail between my legs.  Eventually this became a small irritation as I was taking it as some kind of commentary on my life skills in general.

 

Later on the same thing happens when I move to Miami, which was around the time of Miami Vice, and not so long after the Scarface movie, so you can only imagine.  It was going to be me, Crockett, Tubbs, the chupacabra and Tony Montana roaming the streets (not to mention Bo Boulenger) in the middle of Cat 5 hurricanes.

 

Back in DC, I served my time (in the Navy), went to school, worked at NIH and generally had a great life experience.  In fact, I don’t recall anything bad ever happening the entire almost six years I lived there.  Except…..this one time I went home for the weekend to visit, about a 200 mile drive, and like people do, I packed up all of my unwashed clothes in a sack to wash (for free) back home.  When I got back into town, I went to Smitty’s Better Burger, a local drive in style institution, to grab something to eat.  I got out of the car and walked over to the bathroom, leaving the car unlocked, because after all I was back in my hometown.  When I got back to the car, about ten minutes later, my dirty clothes had been stolen.  This was not good in most ways, as these were practically all the clothes I owned at time.  On the other hand, it provided me with a ready counterpoint that allowed me to interrupt anytime anyone had anything bad to say about the “big city”.

 

Because of the stolen clothes incident, the critics needed to switch to the weather as it was hard to argue with the idea that Miami was way more hurricane prone than Hampton Virginia.  So I get the annual “how can you live there when you are about to be blown into the ocean at any moment, we always thought you were crazy anyway ever since you left for DC” routine.  Except…..this year we had one of the most peaceful hurricane seasons on record in Miami and guess what happened you know where.  Here is a text message I got a few weeks ago from a high school friend just as the season was wrapping up…. 

 

The North Easter we had several weeks ago was awful.  My neighborhood was flooded and it NEVER floods……..the house I grew up in, which is now my brother’s house, had three feet of water in the garage and it came an inch from getting in the house………….and, at least since 1960; it has only been that bad in 1963’s North Easter (we had to leave the house by boat), Isabelle in 2003?? and the one a few weeks ago……..

 

So if you are ever visiting the Tidewater area, let me tell you a couple of things.  First, never leave your clothes unattended.  Second, the weather there can be ferocious……….

 

 

 

Got to get back now to Florida
Lay out in the morning Sun
Got to get back to Miami
Have a whole lotta fun
Going back to Miami    -Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders

 

www.weatheringthestorms.org

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