View Full Version : An interesting week...

06-08-2008, 07:48 PM
Did you notice that news clip from Kansas City last week--the one about the oil tank fire that was started by a lightning hit...?
...We saw it happen.
My goil and I were having dinner on the 40th floor of a hotel in KC, watching the lightning hits from a storm moving over the area. There was a particularly violent bolt just north of the skyline, then clouds of black smoke began to roll up. We could see the flames of the pyre of from our room for the rest of the night. Glad to hear that no one was hurt.

Then in the morning we got a call from a neighbor at the Lake of the Ozarks telling us that our house had taken a glancing blow from a tornado!
It appears to have come across the lake and slammed into our house. No structural damage and the roof remained intact but it uprooted or broke a half dozen huge red oak trees and removed half of the roof of our Japanese teahouse (have I mentioned my interest in Japanese art and design?).
A tree-guy has been here and removed the most pressing of the blow-downs, and our builder sent his crew to tarp the teahouse roof. The builder will be here tomorrow to begin the rebuilding of the teahouse roof. And the insurance-guy will be here too, to hear--included among other things--why our dock now faces north-east instead of north, and to help figure out whatever happened to the hot tub cover, and why there is an eight-foot 4x4 sticking through the screen porch.

However we got off easy--We're told that the people on Big Island, a quarter of a mile away, got the full shot, and some of their houses were leveled and docks turned upside down with the boats in them.

Hey, y'know, we live in Tornado Alley, these things happen...

Vince Brennan
06-08-2008, 08:10 PM
Back in '75 Philadelphia had a mayor who was somewhat famous: Frank Rizzo.

Rizzo had been one of the toughest cops on the Phila force and had risen to be police commissioner and then ran for Mayor and got elected. He was just slightly to the right of Genghis Kahn politically and this confused the democrats on whose ticket he was runnig, but that's not the point of the story.

As soon as "Unka Frank" became mayor, he appointed just about every friend and relative to something in the government... that's the way it worked in Philly... and his brother, Joey, got to be fire commissioner.

Frankie was a strange person. he would attend any function in his tuxedo, with a large sap in a special back pocket and a 38 smith in his cummerbund. Once a cop, always a cop, he'd tell ya. He more than once pulled one or both and made an arrest, but he always gove the collar to the responding officers. Magnanimous, he, always.

So, Oct. '75, and Frankie is on his way to some big dinner thingie, ensconced in the limo with his two ever-present bodyguards, Gog and Magog (I have no idea their names, but they DID remind one of those deities in the London Guildhall) when the Atlantic-Richfield refinery in Sout' Filly done blowed up.

Frank, of course, just HAD to "respond" to the sitchiation, and got there just about the same time as Bro Joey and "Da Boys", and all consulted each other on the best way to fight this fire, while the plant's firecrews were shaking out lines and getting water on the problem.

At last, Frankie decided that he should get a little closer to the fire to better "suss" it out and was proceeding to do so when another tank went up with a moderate roar. (I could hear it and see it about three miles way!)

Unfortunately for Frank, his bodyguards were "pocketing" him, with the biggest in front and when the tank went blooey, Gog (Oh, lets do call him Gog, shall we? It's fewer letters) turned about and removed himself from the immediate area with haste and dispatch.

Normally, this would not have been remarkable, had it not been for the fact that Unka Frankie was two paces to his rear. Frankie immediatley found out what a running back experiences, only less the protective equipment. Three hundred plus pounds of bodyguard ran right over Frank and kept on going. (Wise decision.)

Frankie got a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder and Gog got a chance to expand his horizons with new employment. Joey just did what Joey did best... looked confused.

One of the better nights in Philly politics and firefighting sagas. We didn't have that much fun until a subsequent mayor decided to drop a satchel charge on Osage Avenue and wound up destroying thirty homes and killing a lot of people.

Philadelphia... only place where second prize is an additional weeks visit.