Thursday, January 10, 2008

Remembering Hugo

In October of 1989 I traveled throughout South Carolina on business. My travels included stops in the cities of Myrtle Beach, and Columbia to name a few. When we stopped in Columbia, a co-worker suggested that we dine at a restaurant named "California Dreaming." Yeah, I know some of you baby boomers are starting to sing "All the leaves are brown" in your head). He went on and on about how good it was and that we wouldn't be disappointed. He was a portly gentleman with a reputation for "chowing down" so none of us doubted his recommendation. Let me say; this dining experience turned out to be a true culinary delight for me! I remember exactly what I ate that night: A full rack of baby back ribs, a side of creamed spinach, fries, and what seemed to be an endless basket of warm and fresh croissants! Yummy! boy did I pig out. And oh yeah, I topped it off with 2 very cold and tasty beers. I'm a bit surprised I can remember all of that. I can barely remember what I did yesterday. Maybe I should show some discipline like Josey, and start a food log.

On a more somber note, the other thing that I remember as vividly as my meal was the devastation I saw in Myrtle Beach from Hurricane Hugo. Some of you may recall that Hugo slammed into Charleston, SC on September 21, 1989.

Hurricane Hugo off the East coast in September 1989

Hugo ranked as the eleventh most intense hurricane at time of landfall to strike the U.S. this century and is rated as the second costliest hurricane with over $7 billion in damages. Hugo's storm surge was the highest ever recorded on the East Coast. It was estimated at 20 feet just north of Charleston. Hugo's 150 mile wide swath destroyed about one billion board feet of timber and resulted in major damage hundreds of miles inland. The total number of deaths associated with Hurricane Hugo is 82. (Follow this link to for more info on Hugo)

Ironically, I spoke with a weatherman on that trip and I asked him a bunch of questions about the hurricane. He handed me a satellite picture of Hugo just off the coast as a gift. It was a spectacular picture that showed a very clear "Eye of the Storm" and I carried it around in my briefcase for a while. In fact, I know I still have it filed around here somewhere. My picture, unlike the one above, was black and white. Hugo looked like a big soft blob of cotton with a hole in the middle. I remember thinking - How could something that looks so calm and peaceful from above be so devastating and destructive down below?

So let's advance forward about 18 years when a storm of a different kind will hit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina tonight. The Republican presidential debates will take place at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. With the mudslinging already starting over Ron Paul's "alleged" racist news letters. I wonder if it will get dirty tonight... Ya Think?

Catch the Action tonight!

Click here to see my 2008 Presidential Debates post


josey said...

growing up in the midwest, i'm familiar with the destruction tornadoes cause. (in fact, just had one touch down only a few minutes away last week--yes, in WI, in JANUARY! crazy...) but tornadoes dont always cause the widespread damage a hurricane can. i cant even imagine the horror of living thru one, and then all the clean up and rebuilding afterward. devastating.

on a lighter note, thanks for the shameless plug for my health journal! hehe!! as you can see, my diet's pretty bland compared to baby back ribs, croissants and crab cakes ;) teehee!! hopefully you've burned off that meal--since its been almost 20 years! LOL!

Jennifer said...

In 1990, my high school in Maryland went to South Carolina for about 5 days to help out in the destruction. It truly changed me for the better in being ACTIVE and getting dirty to help others. Thanks for sharing. No one TRULY understands until you see the destruction with your own eyes!

Thank you and I will be checking out that food blog. I am hungry! =)

intrepidideas said...

Hey Josey, Welcome back... You were missed as always! Yeah, I think I burned off that meal decades ago. In fact, I think I burned it off before I left the restaurant. I've been blessed with those kind of genes. I have a weakness for things like fries, cookies, Crab Cakes,wine, chocolate,ribs..... The list goes on and on. My appetite keeps me in the gym. I'm pretty good staying off the red meat,beer and sodas. We've got to eat better. I've learned a lot from your blog and over the years. Additionally, I'm really enjoying the benefits of tea. Green, black, and herbal. Thanks for the visits and the comments.