Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What I remember from those Hurricanes

Hurricane Aubrey - I was 2 years old. I don't remember a thing.

Hurricane Carla - I was 6 years old. Rita was 1 year old and Jesse was a newborn. Our father was in the National Guard. He would be helping with evacuations and storm problems. He drove us in the driving rain to Alice TX along where we picked up his sister, my Tia Elia and other aunts I can't recall. We found shelter in the Alice High School Cafeteria where we prayed the storm wouldn't break the windows. We slept on blankets on the floor. I was thrilled that we got to eat cafeteria food. Mami was preoccupied with the babies - Rita and Jesse. So, as was the usual case around those times, I amused myself. I remember watching a coupla high school boys drawing rockets in the chalk board. I was mesmerized. I was jealous because I wanted to draw rockets, too. For a time after this experience, I practiced drawing rockets. I wanted to be like the big kids. We survived the storm.

Hurricane Beulah - I was 11 years old. We went to San Antonio for this one and stayed with my Tia Minnie on her house on Buffalo. It rained in San Antonio and there was fear of tornados developing. I remember us staring up at the sky at the swirling clouds as they flirted with becoming tornados. We were immediately shuffled inside. I remember someone had a movie camera and we were filmed at some point in this visit and I think it was about this time that I discovered the guitar. One of my boy cousins - either Cesar or Victor - had an acoustic guitar. I remember laying it on my lap and picking out songs. Simple songs. Melodies only. But it was the beginning of a relationship with the guitar that continues to this day. I amused myself for hours and hours. I was in love with that guitar. I remember my Tia Minnie had a loud water cooler air conditioning type thing to cool the house. Her home was decorated in aqua colors and I remember looking forward to playing with her legendary 6 toed cats. This may be the storm that did in our huge mesquite tree in the front yard. It was a really big tree.

Hurricane Celia - I think we rode this one out at home. I remember the howling, scary winds. We did lose power during the storm. Our street didn't flood. I remember Mami saying she and Daddy looked at the property right after a big rain and she was glad they did because that's how they determined the flood risk was low. Anywho, the rest of Kingsville flooded badly. The Tranquitas Creek which runs across 14th Street and Santa Gertrudis was massively flooded. We could then look forward to tons of mosquitos and the loud cacophany of ranas (frogs) for many nights to come. I remember people talking how desks would be hanging out of skyscraper windows in Corpus Christi.

Hurricane Allen - I'd already left Kingsville by 1980. I think I was living in San Antonio already. I have no memory of this storm.

This is the same for all storms that followed that year. I can't remember a thing.

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