MSN offered this headline Monday while millions of Americans braced for disaster: “Floridians evacuate and grumble as Hurricane Dorian slowly nears.”
Just last week, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” was screened in the House of Adams’ Big Moroccan Theater and sorta like moviedom’s Dorian, Hurricane Dorian hung around, preening in a mirror, while hiding its sinister soul as people anticipating it aged ahead of its arrival on the U.S. East Coast.
Killer weather ages everyone, those suffering through natural perils and those feeling compelled to watch what nature has wrought via TV or online.
One afternoon in early 1956, the late Marvin Nolin finished hammering together a tin building at Wiregrass Wrecking Co., an Ozark Highway junkyard Daddy partially owned.
The well-built structure got to be an office/storage shed less than 24 hours before a tornado/other intense wind demolished it, rocketing studs and rafters through numerous doors and fenders of cars made with strong, heavy steel.
A cement block building replaced Mr. Marvin’s work; though long abandoned, the kudzu-covered replacement still stands.
Another MSN Labor Day headline mentioned the “tortured path” Dorian was following as it agonizingly, SLOWLY bobbed and weaved, haunting coastal folks with fear, sheer dread of the unknown.
Daily, more than 3 million East Coasters faced mandatory evacuation.
Don’t know how many beach-dwellers couldn’t/wouldn’t evacuate or how many newsmongers and price-gougers stayed put.
In the HoA, we formerly measured natural disasters’ severity watching Dan Rather, before he self-destructed, and/or the late John Holliman lashed to palm trees/utility poles.
Once we relied on Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Russel L. Honore, the Troy University alum tasked with untangling Hurricane Katrina’s chaotic aftermath, whose plan began with something like, “By this time tomorrow, you won’t be able to swing a dead cat around here without hitting someone in uniform!”
Nowadays, without John, Dan and Russel, besides Waffle House closings, we know when the Weather Channel runs commercials, either destruction looms far at sea, or the storm has passed.
Hurricanes, if not as catastrophic as predicted, leave media crews miffed - even Jim “Pollo” Cantore - stumbling over sodden sandbags, always with an eye toward the next peril … but truly relieved when no humans perish.
Though compelling real-life drama, Hurricane Dorian wasn’t the only captivating fare Monday; TV Land aired “The Andy Griffith Show” most all day, each episode still fresh as ever, despite its having been screened here 55+ years.
Good guys prevailing never grows old.
TV Land, MeTV, the Weather Channel and other cable outfits catering to us older guys offer different products/services than younger viewers see on major networks and their cable stations.
We see lots of Marlo Thomas and Marie Osmond, neither hard on the eyes, but Pat Boone and Terry Bradshaw soaking in bathtubs is brutal.
We’re constantly beseeched to donate $19 a month to save mistreated animals, instructed to use Fleet’s enemas (when needed) and to beware Hep C.
Monday, your scribe was compelled to look into 1964’s “World Book Encyclopedia” to compare 2019’s hurricane knowledge with ’64s.
Little about hurricanes has changed.
“Hurricane” covered parts of three WB pages and ended with this: “The (U.S.) Weather Bureau uses a permanent list of 84 girls’ names to label each season’s hurricanes.”
Back to you in the studio, Kyle.