Weathering the Storm

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - December 12, 2007
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The storm last week was something else. I should know, because I’ve flown into a category 5 hurricane. That was in 1996 and it was the approaching Hurricane Gilma, clocked as the most powerful in the history of the Pacific. I was the assistant publisher of MidWeek at the time.

I’d just got done unclogging the women’s room toilet (don’t ask) when the publisher at the time was going around asking who would be interested in taking a flight with the famous Hurricane Hunters. I looked at the plunger in my hand and volunteered immediately.

Little did I know that I would be catching a flight on a 30-year-old C-130 aircraft from Hickam Air Force Base, which would be flying right into the eye of that intense storm. The fact that I’m writing this proves that I made it out alive.

Back then I was young and stupid, whereas today I am old and, well, stupid. The reason I brought up this story is to qualify myself as an expert on the intensity of storms.

Now I’m not making light of all the damage and inconvenience the storm caused, and thank goodness no one got hurt, as far as I know. What I did realize was a new way to assess the severity of storms, kind of like we rate hurricane strength by category. Last week after our power was restored and the storm somewhat subsided, I went out to my truck to leave for work. That’s when I noticed something on my front lawn.

I looked at it closer and realized it was a Frisbee. I picked it up thinking it blew here from someone else’s property. Then I saw that it had my 18-year-old son’s name on it. It suddenly dawned on me that it was a Frisbee that went up on our roof when I was tossing it with our son - when he was 5!

That’s right, the storm was strong enough to blow off a Frisbee that’s been stuck up on our roof for 13 years. That tells me it was a pretty powerful storm. I actually threw the Frisbee back onto the roof. That way the next time it blows down, I can call Perry and Price with a storm assessment.

Frisbee strength will mean call civil defense and stay inside until the storm is downgraded to tennis ball strength.

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