Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Politely running from the tornado

Politeness reins here. Saying hello and goodbye, waving to the other lone car on the road, calling people ma’am and sir, Miss and Mr. I'm 'Miss Beth.' I like it. There is usually some truth to stereotypes, and Northerners’ chilliness and Southern hospitality do have more than their grains of accuracy, I am discovering.

I’ve been extolling the virtues of southern weather. This morning I awoke to a bit of frost on the ground, yet I’d slept without the heat on and my window half open all night and the inside temp was still 64. It’ll be astoundingly beautiful here until May and then it will be hot hot hot. And humid.

But the area suffers from its share of severe weather too. In Maine we get snow, nor-easters, blizzards. In Georgia we get hurricanes. Being next to Florida and the undulating petrie dish of hurricane spawning weather known as the Gulf, by the time it reaches us, the storm has become pounding rains, extremely high winds, and often, tornadoes.

Apparently, there was a pretty bad one spawned by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that touched down in town. The Librarian gave a talk this week to the Rotary about the improvements to the facility, partly initiated because of the damage the Ivan-tornado had done.

The funny part of her anecdote is that the 11 patrons and staff inside the building all followed the tornado plan to the letter. More than the letter. Since the bathrooms were the most interior rooms, they knew to rush there. But they did make sure that the men went into the men’s room and women went to the women’s. No one wanted to be caught in the wrong room.

Politeness during a tornado. Now that’s strength of character.


Anonymous said...

I envy you "Miss Beth", around here there are enough George (Castanza) types pushing old lady's down to get out of a burning building around here. You know who I'm talking about.
Hey , just curious, does anyone down there follow your musings on this blog?

Elizabeth Prata said...

thanks! The editor of the local paper asked me to write columns for the paper. He'd read one, the Halloween at Huddle House, and liked it.

As far as other readers go, I don't think so. I have not been promoting it locally, though I will be soon, since I want to get established as a writer.

Anonymous said...

You are an established writer, they just need to be made won't take long.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! What anonymous #2 said. :) Your observations are gems.

- your biggest LOCAL fan!

Elizabeth Prata said...

You guys are wonderful, thank you so much! I really appreciate the encouragement, too, it's so welcome.

When they start, the newspaper columns will be slice of life, which are harder to do because they're personal, not political. And you know what's weird, saying "It's up to the editor" and waiting to see if one of my photos will get in the paper!