The granddaddy sound of them all was the roar overhead that told us some even greater threat was making itself known. My mother’s frightened question, “What is that?” was answered by my father attempting humor, who responded casually, “It’s a freight train going over the bridge.”
The next morning we surveyed the damage that appeared to me as if a giant taller than the bridge had stomped through the place. Telephone poles were at 45 degree angles if not fully prostrated on the ground. Trees were down all over. Roofs of some homes were gone. Residents across the river suffered extensive flood damage.
The “freight train” that sounded as though it came off the bridge was, of course, a tornado that destroyed a neighborhood gym.
This was a personal experience that forever siphoned the buzz of excited anticipation off all future hurricane warnings.
(Contact Lone’ Beasley at firstname.lastname@example.org)