Close to Being Smashed, But Oh, That Story!

I just told this story to my friend Arnette Crocker and thought I’d share it with you, in light of the hurricane that is about to clobber us (according to all the weather I can find):

I grew up in “Hurricane Alley” in South Carolina and once, when I was about 10, I was trying to get home in the midst of Hurricane Connie from a baseball game. I probably weighed 80-90 pounds.

As I reached my back yard (we bordered the baseball field at my school), the wind was so strong that I had to lean into it, almost at a 45 degree angle to the ground, pushing my little legs as hard as I could.

My mother showed up at the back screen door, yelling and I couldn’t hear a word. She was freaking out and then I heard a loud “crack!” and knew the end was near. I was walking past a huge chinaberry tree and it was coming down on me, the wind actually working both for me and against me simultaneously.

I was making a tiny amount of progress and the tree was falling slowly against the wind. Suddenly, I felt something on my back and arms, pumped harder and fell flat on my face. The tree kept coming and was all around me. Mom was working her way toward me, the wind at her back, screaming. I was OK. The tree’s big limbs didn’t hit me–by a few feet.

Mom was out of her mind and I was lying there calmly, knowing that when I got back to school in the next few days, I’d have a hell of a story to tell.

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