Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Happy Birthday Ronnie

Happy Birthday Ronnie...
Ronnie is my baby brother. No..not the one that reads Henry Miller, but our baby brother. Today he turns 39. I can say that here because he doesn't read this :)
But..he is a fellow hurricane tracker.. we track together and he loves hurricanes so ...he deserves a birthday greeting.
We used to make hurricane parties on June 1st. Small ones. His wife would try and make him happy and bake him a cake with a hurricane symbol on it. Now, if that doesn't qualify him a mention here..I don't know what does?
He has posters on his wall (framed of course) of Andrew. He has hurricane charts and postcards and pics around his office. I think he even has a hurricane mousepad..I'm not sure. Don't remember. He doesn't let me use his computer much.. I think he is afraid of some of my hurricane online friends.. my guess. Thinks they will bug his computer and take it over and watch where he goes ..or something. It's okay.. he let me use it back when I needed it and that's what counts.
I used his computer when I first went on the old AOL boards. Hurricane History board or the precursor to it. It's where I read for the first time posts by SNONUT and PTravel and learned that there was a whole underground network of hurricane trackers. Fishing and Lilac Wonder and sort of changed my life even though I only wanted to learn more about hurricanes.
I would sift through all the material that was available ...which compared to now is the proverbial drop in a bucket but in those days it was a waterfall of information flowing freely throughout our little world. Dos and DJ and Burns all out there tracking. Aggease and Jim. What a world we lived in.
It was the duct tape that caught me there in the season of despair.. 1997. I couldn't resist.. couldn't stop myself from joining in to what was some of the funniest and best writing ever seen online or off anywhere. What's a tracker to do when you stop being a tracker? Sung to What's a general to do..when you stop being a general" from White Christmas.. no hurricanes.. well you have got to know the movie. But, we had no canes..we had the El Nino of all El Nino's and instead of the boards being deathly quiet..they came alive with the sounds of laughter and madness. Oh..and Steve's incredible top ten lists that were better than any Letterman ever used. So..stuck there like a piece of duct tape on an old window two hurricane seasons past that no one could scrape off. Easier to sell the house than to get that stuff off of the windows.
I'd go on.. print out a few maps. Ronnie would be all hyper because he wanted to read the bios of the people at TWC. We are so different. Never occured to me to do that.. they are who they are.. on tv. I wanted to know what they thought.. not what they ate for breakfast or where they went to school. Ronnie did. So.. seems Dave Schwartz likes Wizard of Oz (wow..him and 99% of most weather nut) and Jim Cantore is from Vermont.. (shhhh the NE kingdom.. careful, things go bump in the night up THERE) and Dave Morrow is from Pennsylvannia somewhere and likes the Great Storm of ...oh darn I forgot. And.. did you know that Mike Seidel can speak Spannish. LOL.. I do but not because of anything I read on the bio page of TWC. I've seen a tape.. someone sent me.. of Hurricane Andrew coverage. See what good friend's I've made. Well..I mean we had no TV so we only saw the beginning..not the end of the story. So.. there is Mike.. in the most perfect spannish without any signs of accent giving a report in spannish to all the spannish speaking people in Miami that still had their electric and cable. Was cute, endearing.. speaks spannish well.  LOL.. you wouldn't believe what I  had to do to get that special video from a weather friend. Well.. thank you Ronnie for things you never know you did ;)
Steve Lyons just did the Tropical Update. Wish I had heard Cantore do it. There is no one like him who can describe the water vapor. I can read it ..I can read it good but he can turn it into a great novel unfolding before your eyes. Steve surfs by the way and he had a really nice house when he lived in Miami years back, nice dogs. His neighbor told my brother and I when he appraised the house that was across the street. Thank you again Ronnie. Not that I care.. but Ronnie as excited. And, he's a real estate appraiser.. he likes houses and weather.
I liked John Hope. I liked to complain that he talked about climo instead of getting excited abotu a wave. But.. he was right. I was so upset when he died Really upset for a lot of reasons. Affected a lot of us ..for our own reasons. Some because they shared a small office with him way back when and others because he was the Mentor of All of Us in ways. My favorite John Hope memory: The day that Bertha formed. For days he stood there.. smiling sure of himself, not worrying on that wave. Pointing to his blue screen with the dots where storms had formed and never formed.. Never before had a storm formed that early in the season. Well..not since we have had good sats monitoring every inch of the basin. And...when they announced during the broadcast that Bertha had indeed formed where no storm had formed.. John came on.. there was the screen.. and a DOT had suddenly been put there. He turned.. had this nervous deer caught in the headlights look and turned again to be get one more look at it and announced that indeed there was a new dot in the big empty blue screen.. BERTHA. Big Bertha was suddenly on the map, a dot messing up his perfect climo. Smiling.. was so funny, so endearing.. so memorable. Can see him now in my mind.. loved that moment. Was so happy I saw it live as it happened. TWC isn't the same anymore.. nothing is.. but somewhere John is in Hurricane Heaven wishing he could talk to us about climo and oddly he does because I think we hear him better now than we did when he was with us and we wanted to play devils advocate. Now.. we want to see climo win out.. just for John's sake.
Ronnie loved John Hope. We all did. We hung on his every word.
Local weather is doing the weather.. no talk right now of the Wave.. talk of fires started by lightning out in the Glades near where I used to live. West Dade. Wet Dade.. soaked by storms that were wild beyond description. is the wave on Ronnie's birthday?
Not good.
Is it playing possum or is it gone? We don't think so. No one trusts it. It's been the most annoying wave since the one that didn't become Erika in 97.
Maybe tomorrow.. as I said online earlier.. if this storm develops we should rename the storm Annie because for the last week we have sung every night "maybe tomorrow.."
One more thing I have to tell you about Ronnie.
He's sort of a curse to getting the big storm. Send him out of town if you want a direct hit.. keep him here if you want your house protected without paying wind insurance.
He was born in July of 1965. My early memories of Hurricane Betsy was being a little girl sitting on the floor under or near Ronnie's crib. Maybe I felt safer down there watching as the rain sort of seeped in a little through the jalousie windows. I began to play with some little spring on his crib, up and down, up and down, up and down it went mesmerizing me til my mother screamed out "STOP THAT" worrying that somehow my playing with the spring would weaken the wooden structure of Ronnie's well made crib and he'd go slamming to the floor in the middle of the storm.. sigh. Childhood memories, always funny, always silly, always full of angst. Ronnie was fine. I walked over to the north window and got yelled at to go away from there too, lol. And, after Betsy..we didn't have a storm in Miami until 1992..not a real storm. Mind you Ronnie lived in Baltimore that year. He missed Andrew. Yup.. he couldn't believe it. He was in Baltimore. My other brother Jay was in Houston. Only I was in Miami on Miami Beach for Andrew. Ronnie felt cheated.. was so upset. Bought the posters and had them properly framed. So..he decided to move back to Miami, missed it.. came down here for a job interview and .........left his wife Roberta up in Baltimore.. which got slammed with the famous Storm that Morrow remembers so well. Maybe Morrow. You know the Storm of the Century. Yes, not only did Ronnie miss Andrew...he missed the Storm of the Century. There are no words. Trust me.. Ronnie is to Miami what the Chapel at St.Marys is in Key West that protects the island from destruction. My great grandma's life was saved by the sisters at St. Marys back in the 1880s when she took ill with some tropical ailment... we are eternally grateful seeing as how she eventually gave birth to our Grandma Mary.
Any trip for tropical weather lovers to Key West MUST include a walk down the little coral rock path to the outdoor grotto off of Truman Avenue to say a prayer to keep our wonderful Key West safe.
Ronnie loves Key West.. loves to drive by our families old home.. the old poincinanna tree.. Happy Birthday Ronnie.
If you are ever in Key West for Shabbos..for those of you who keep shabbos you can go to Chabad House or Bnai Zion, both wonderful places.
Did you know Key West has more churches and places of religous worship than there are bars. Or so the saying goes..
Happy Birthday Ronnie!
This might not be one of my best posts but its my board.. and I'm just relaxing tonight, not obsessing about that wave and not obsessing about YKWho and just enjoying myself.. writing and talking to my hurricane friends.
Have a wonderful tomorrow everyone...and I hope Ronnie has a wonderful year.
His big sis... Bobbi ;)
ps...............there is some deep red on the IR tonight between Cuba and Haiti.. the wave?
Maybe tomorrow......... (he has a great poster I might add and a very comfortable tee shirt).


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