18 February 2012

My minute of fame

Stand back, people.  One at a time.  No need to crowd in, everybody'll get an autograph.

It's pouring down here.  Been raining since late yesterday and there have been waves of thunderstorms rolling through the area (dogs are hiding in the closet). Lots of local flooding.  Funny how just a few months ago I was commenting on how bad our drought has been.  Lots of trees lost, cracked sidewalks, rivers dried up, lakes were turning into dust bowls.  At one point, we were ~27 inches behind for the year.  A lot of "doom & gloom" projections on how this was the start of a 10 year droughts.  Somewhere after Christmas, the skies opened up and it has been raining off and on throughout January and February.  We may have missed out on a cold winter (it ain't over yet) but we are definitely making up ground on the rainfall.  The local park where I let the dogs run has a 3 acre pond adjacent to it.  Towards the latter part of the year, it had pretty much turned into a swamp where there was grass growing in the middle of it.  Several old concrete culverts were left in the middle of the pond when it was dredged out many years ago and you normally don't see them when the water is up.  During the drought, all the culverts were exposed (8 or so) with several sitting on dry land.  After the latest round of storms, the pond is almost overflowing. 
Drought?  What drought?

Many lifetimes ago, back when I was in college and still had hair, I took a road trip to Colorado.  I joined the Texas A&M Ski club (yes, we had a ski club in the middle of Texas) for a week long trip to Winter Park, Colorado in early January '79.  We left campus early Saturday morning with the intent of driving straight through to Winter Park to arrive some time on Sunday.  Forecast was for cold/icy weather but we had hoped to skirt that and make it to Colorado.  Somewhere north of Waco, the roads started to ice over and driving got dicey.  Lots of wrecks, spin outs.  First time in my life I had ever seen anyone put chains on a bus.  We limped into Fort Worth late as a stop over and were told that they were not letting us leave until the storm had passed.  There was talk about cancelling the trip (not well received).  So, basically, you have a bus load of college students stuck in the downtown bus terminal on Saturday night looking for trouble.  Interesting to note what life's like downtown on Saturday night during an ice storm.  The bus company put us up in one of the downtown hotels and we ate dinner at the local greasy spoon.  You run into lots of interesting characters on the streets downtown at night.  Eventually, the storm passed, the roads were cleared and we were able to get back on the road by Sunday afternoon to hit the slopes.  While waiting word on what to do, we roamed the bus station looking for things to do.  Of course, this was in the dark days before smart phones, laptops, iPads, WIFi, nintendos, gameboys, PDAs.  We played a lot of card games, dominoes, read books, talked.  I had my own deck of cards and I had a few lame card tricks (aspiring magician) I would show, if I had an audience.  At one point during the whole adventure, we ran across a photographer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  He was taking lots of "life pictures" of the ice storm and how it was affecting everyone (wrecks, frozen ponds, icicles) and he took a bunch of pictures of the group.  Didn't really pay him much attention as we were too busy trying to look cool.  Much to my surprise, in the morning when we went down to the greasy spoon for breakfast, my face was plastered on the Sunday edition of the Telegram.  I became the de facto celebrity for the group.  I even got an award for "Most Photogenic".  Of course, my "girlfriend/future bride" at the time (sitting to the right) was initially identified as just "a friend" (she wasn't happy with that description).    

Card shark

Always wanted to see my face on the front page 

I thought it was kinda cool until I talked with my parents.  You see, we didn't call to let them know were stuck in downtown Fort Worth (we had gotten in late in the evening).  Since we got back on the road Sunday, I figured it was a only a minor delay and no need to worry the parental units.  What I forgot to account for was that most of my relatives lived Fort Worth/Arlington area and take the Star-Telegram.  Needless to say, mom got a lot of calls on Sunday morning.    


ShadowRun300 said...

Ahh..... you didn't heed my warning about being careful what you wish for - and now you're being flooded out. :) That's usually the way it goes though, right? Especially this year. Things are a little out of whack.
I loved the story! Those kind of "mishaps" lead to great memories... and you got yours on film!! How exciting! I hope your parents didn't burst your bubble too much.

Abby said...

Wow, all this time and you never told us of your fame?! Plus you can do magic?? Geez, ya think you know a person... I'm all humbled in your presence now. Sounds like a memorable trip.

I'm glad your pond is full again. Looks like you'll have running water for the summer?

agg79 said...

SR300 - I know. Be careful what you wish for, you might actually get it. This year is definitely a bit out of sorts for some. And, no, my parents didn't bust my chops (too much).

Abby - Thanks, but hold off getting any collector's plates. I found the whole deal mildly amusing/embarrassing. The rest of the group found it hilarious. And the pond is full now, but wait until August and we'll have another dust bowl.

meleah rebeccah said...

Wow. Y'all really got a lot of rain. Geez!

Bus filled with college kids trapped because of a storm = recipe for trouble for sure!!

OMFG! I am DYING over that photo and this story. AMAZEBALLS!

terri said...

That IS a GREAT photo. It really captures the moment. (Can I have your autograph?) ;-)

Speaking of weird weather, we got our first measurable snowfall last night. It's FEBRUARY for crying out loud!