A Stupid Thing Not To Do During A Hurricane

A Stupid Thing Not To Do During A HurricanebyOscar ElizondoHurricane Beluah was my first encounter with mother nature. I live in the deep south part of Texas and I have lived here all of my life. When I was in high school during my junior year I came face to face with my first hurricane. She was no lady at all, she brought so much grieve to this part of the world and I remember all of it.I was working at a ladies store down town in Harlingen, Texas and I was seventeen years old. After school I would walk a couple of miles, or catch a ride with friends or my brother. It didn’t really matter to me because I loved working for my boss. My job was to clean the store and help the ladies with the mannequins that were on display behind the fifteen feet tall glass windows.My job consisted of vacuuming the rug, cleaning the toilets, emptying the trash, washing those huge glass windows, dusting the mannequins and bringing’s them from the top floor to the display area, packing and unpacking merchandise, and just whatever the boss could find for me to do. The hours were from four o’clock till six p.m. and on Saturdays from eight a.m. till 12 noon. I did all of that for the ripe salary of twelve dollars a week.My main hobby was dancing and I was very good at it, I think. I could do the twist, rock and roll, slow dance, and I loved doing the split. I would hit the floor and never look back. Doing the split is what would draw attention to my groovy moves. That’s all I had going for me because my brother was a singer in a number of bands. He was good, and as for me, I could only wake the dead at the city cemetery and they would make me shut up.It was in September when Hurricane Beluah was kicking it’s heels in the Gulf of Mexico. They were not sure if it would head towards south Texas or further into South America. There was a fifty-fifty chance that we would get hit by this killer of a hurricane. I was at a dance in San Benito, Texas where my brother was playing with his band.I had already made my move on this beautiful girl. When I got the chance to dance the rest of the night with her, I went for it. She took my breath away and we talked about many things, especially about the hurricane so near. By the time the dance was over it had been made official that the hurricane would hit the Rio Grande Valley. We parted ways on that night hoping to meet again not knowing how serious the disturbance in the ocean would seal our faith.That September Friday night was a night that I did not sleep. Not just because I was thinking of that beautiful girl I had met, but because the winds were beginning to intensify. By Saturday morning the winds had reached 80 miles an hour and trees were falling down like match sticks. One of those trees fell right in front of our government rented apartment home and blocked our front door.My friends came over to view the damage during the eye of the storm passing over us. We didn’t understand that the eye was only the halfway point of the storm. Yes, it was calm, no rain, no high winds and you couldn’t tell that the other half of the storm was just behind us and coming rapidly. While the adults cleared the area, we snuck out the back door to go play football. They saw us at a distance and told us to come back quickly, they had no idea where we were going.Just a block away was a wide road and there was no traffic at all. Dumb of us not to notice that nobody else was out there. To us, it was a perfect place to play football because everywhere else was flooded for the time being. There were four of us and we were having a blast because there was no school. We played for a long while and then the back of the storm hit us while we were out there.Winds by then had reached one hundred miles an hour and we were in grave danger of being blow away. In the middle of the wide street were aluminum light poles and we hugged those poles for dear life. Our feet were suspended in mid air as those powerful winds lifted us.We stayed low to the pavement and we tied our belts around our wrist to get a better leverage because death was staring us straight into our eyes. All four of us helped each other as the wind took turns in freeing our grips. We could see small animals being blown over us, parts of cars, rooftops and also parts of frame houses too. It was a frighteneding experience and if not for the help of each other, we all could have died that day.We went back home without saying much to our parents about what had happened. I had regrets that the hurricane had done so much damage to the surrounding areas, and I also regretted that the beautiful girl I had met only a few days earlier would not be with me in my future plans. I hadn’t gotten much information about her, I didn’t even know if she would have liked to hang around me because she was two years older than I was. She was in business college and I was just a junior in high school.The telephone lines were down, the electricity kept going off and on and the streets were really getting very flooded. Water was rising quickly since the levee had broken and two story houses could be seen washing away with the tremendous current. It was an ugly scene, and all I could think about was her, and how I had told her that I always had bad luck.With the levee just about a mile from where our government home was at, the ragging waters kept our neighbor isolated from the down town area. There was no close passage to cross, and the town where I had met that girl that melt my heart was seven miles away. Water was up to forty feet high at the center of Colorado River and the houses in it’s path were being flooded by the hour. We held our ground, never leaving our belongings and my predictions about my bad luck to that special girl had come true. I figure I had lost her forever.The floods did more of the damage down here in south Texas, but that is another story in its self. Two weeks later I came across the girl of my dreams on a downtown city street, but that’s another story. I’ll tell you about me and her on my next story, you’ll be surprise at the outcome. It’s okay if you don’t visit my next story of my adventures, but just thanks for reading this one.

Copyright © 2008 Oscarelizondo

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