We’re in the midst of hurricane season around here, which really just means that every brewing storm gets mentionned on the news as a potential catastrophy. Now, hurricanes are not rare in New England and most of them, while damaging and potentially frightening, are not something to get all worked up about. However, every once in a while, we get hit with a doozy of a storm.
The hands-down worst hurricane to hit New England was on September 21, 1938 – this was before hurricanes were named, by the way, but September 21st, for those of you paying attention, wound up being my birthday some 27 years after this hurricane.
Another storm that has gone down in history was Hurricane Carol, which arrived on August 31, 1954. My oldest brother was just 3 months old when this storm hit and my mother was in Falmouth, Massachusetts. She remembers looking out the front door and seeing the ocean coming up the road – and they were about 2 miles from the beach.
As an aside, there was another Hurricane Carol in 1965, which just happens to be the year I was born. They didn’t keep official hurricane name lists at that time, and that’s why the name was used again. However, once the formal lists were introduced the name “Carol” was retired due to the destruction in 1954, and it will never be used for a hurricane again.
So. Anyone making the connection? The two most severe hurricanes in New England? One sharing my birthday? And one sharing my name? Twice, including the year I was born? It explains a bit about my personality, I think. Just ask my family. Most of the time, they live in the eye of the storm where all is calm and peaceful. But then the spiral bands surrounding the eye take hold and suck them into the cyclone where things are not quite so, ummm, pleasant.
Hurricanes have followed me my whole life is all I’m saying. So, last Thursday, when we visited Wickford, Rhode Island, a place I haven’t been to in years, I was not at all surprised to find this marker. The sock was willing to hang on the nail above the sign long enough for this picture.
Nor was I surprised to hear Dale, who enjoys trying the local microbrews, order a beer called Newport Storm at the little cafe where we had lunch. Turns out that Hurricane Amber Ale was created in honor of the September 21, 1938 storm.
By the way, New England is overdue for a major hurricane. My prediction? We’ll have a whopper on September 18, 2005, the date scheduled for my 40th birthday party.