Niagara Gazette — As a kid, given a choice, I almost always opted for the outdoors in any weather anytime, even in the extremes unless there was a good book or an interesting story going on inside; in that case, wild horses could not pull me away.
I have always been fascinated by extreme weather, especially by storms they never frightened me; in fact I have always found them rather exhilarating, exciting, though over the years I have learned to respect them, to get out of their way.
I feel the same way about books.
I recall standing stubborn against the wind near Lake Erie’s shoreline watching the billowing purple black fists, the Blizzard of ‘77 as it approached the city, picking up hundreds of tons of snow and slamming it into Buffalo, holding the region hostage, burying us feet deep as if in icy crypts for weeks.
Tragically taking nearly two dozen lives in Western New York, the storm etched permanent crystal memories into the Nation’s collective psyche, becoming one of the three things synonymous with Buffalo, creating the Devine Holy Trinity: snow, chicken wings and the Bills!
Fifteen years later in August, 1992, I was leaning against the stinging wind driven sand on the Atlantic coast, fascinated by what looked like identical deep purple-black fists pounding Hurricane Andrew directly at Florida, dropping, “like a bomb” into the history books as one of the deadliest storms of the century taking fifteen lives, wreaking more than $25 billion in life altering devastation, like The Blizzard, searing lifetime lasting memories into our minds.
These days, I’m less inclined to confront Mother Nature’s wrath head-on, more inclined to stick to good books and great stories about the weather, and more often, during it, especially this time of the year as the season changes.