Tail of the Weak 3.41
Updated: Jan 25
Tail of the Weak is a series of insights and musical memories from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin, singer/songwriter and founder of the Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Tribute Festival, from Waycross, Georgia.
It's 6:14 pm on October 10, 2018. 10/10—imagine that (See Tail of the Weak 3.38). I just got home from the chaotic aisles of Walmart, Dollar Tree, and Kroger, doing some last minute shopping for hurricane supplies. It's much too late in the year for me to have to worry about a hurricane coming. Just tell that to Mother Nature.
I found the only three six-packs of bottled water in Waycross, Georgia at the Dollar Tree. I stood staring at the blank shelves in the Kroger bread department, desperately clutching the last pack of Whole Wheat Multi-Grain Health-Conscious Taste Bud-Depressing High Dollar hamburger buns, when an angel appeared in a Kroger vest, pushing a buggy of reject purchases. From the bottom of the shopping cart, I grabbed the only two bags of slightly depressed buns and tore out to the self-service checkout with an 83-year old woman on a Jazzy scooter in hot pursuit.
At noon-thirty, Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm with 155 miles per hour winds, blew into the Florida Panhandle just below Panama City Beach, my old stomping grounds back in the Seventies. As of right now, my friends Pam and Jimmy Brigman of Hahira, Georgia, are experiencing a lot of rain with wind gusts near 50 mph.
In southwestern Climax, Georgia, cousin Terry Wildes Varnadore called her yard a war zone, with pine trees toppled and oak trees uprooted. Thank God they are all safe; but her husband, Roger, has his work cut out for him cleaning up the debris left in the wake of the big storm.
My dear friends, Maggie McKinney and her husband, Mike, just lost power in Econfina, Florida—just a hop, skip, and a jump from Panama City. The eye rolled right over them earlier and somehow, she managed to post this on Facebook, “It's really bad....really bad!!” They ended up losing a lot of trees and part of their roof; but as long as she's posting on Facebook, I know they're alright.
While I was out gathering necessities: charcoal, lighter fluid, batteries, Vienna sausages, tuna fish, a box of Cheez-It Duoz, Havarti cheese, Manzanilla olives, and two bottles of Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon—if I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go with a red-toothed smile on my wine-frightened face—my wife, Lynne, had cleaned out the emergency ice chests normally dedicated to Bud Light and tequila just in case we lose power in the wee hours of tomorrow.
She's in the bathroom now taking what could be her last hot shower for a few days if the worst happens. My buddy, Chris Karle, manager of the local Vyve Broadband store, texted me a link to a website called windy.com, where you can punch your location in and see the wind speeds right at your front door. It's looking like 20 mph winds by midnight and wind gusts reaching 50 mph around three in the morning.
A couple years ago, Lynne was up in Athens staging a house to be sold when Hurricane Matthew clipped by Waycross. I hunkered down for the storm with our two Yorkie pups—Evie and Hippie—with a glass of wine or two, listening to the wind howl through the 11 pecan trees surrounding our house. The dogs were pretty complacent after the wine; and, following the storm, I only had to wipe up a little bit of poop and pee off the floor—but, I don't really mind cleaning up behind myself.
Last year, Hurricane Irma drove a lot of our friends inward from the Georgia east coast for impromptu musical gatherings at hurricane parties here and there. We lost power for about 13 hours as I read out loud to Lynne from my good friend, Bob Kealing's great book, Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida. With a little LED headlamp strapped to my forehead, I kept her entertained—impersonating Elvis's and Colonel Tom Parker's voices when called for—until she feigned sleep when she couldn't take anymore.
I've only been through one real storm situation that required evacuation. That was way back in June of 1966 when we were stationed on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Daddy was gone on a tour-of-duty and my older brother, Gary, had already moved back up to Waycross, leaving me, Mama, my little sister, Deb, and our dog, Sport, to deal with Alma the Hurricane. The storm left a lot of water behind along with some power outages; but, we came out relatively unscathed.
Well, it's about 8:08 pm now and I guess I should take my shower before all the hoo-rah begins. I tend to scatter my stories with irreverent quips and witticisms to try and amuse; but, let me say I am in no way making light of the catastrophic destruction, loss, and pain that this unprecedented storm has caused and is causing loved ones in its path. My heart goes out to all those families who are suffering because of Hurricane Michael.
To my friends in low places, if you need a place to go, Uncle Dave and Aunt Lynne are here—our home is yours—and I have two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon. Wait a second. Make that one. Damn canine winos!
After the Storm Report: I don't know about the rest of Ware County; but out here on the east side, Hurricane Michael was little more than a dust devil.
ASPCA Disclaimer: Lest anyone out there thinks we feed our dogs wine, its called literary humor—and very little humor at that!
American Spirit: Uncle Dave and The Younguns Download or Buy
Memories straight from the mind of Uncle Dave Griffin