It was a dark and stormy night. The year was 1964. Hurricane Dora hit us shortly after midnight on September 10th. The power was out for six days. Trees were down, streets were flooded, the beaches were a mess, President Johnson was coming to town, schools were closed, and our lives came to a halt.
It didn’t matter that we had to use candles at night to see where we were going. It didn’t matter that we used cans of Sterno in the barbecue grill to cook our food. We ran out of charcoal, and it was much too hot to use the fireplace. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t go to the beach. All beaches were declared disaster areas. We had water, the telephone worked, and we had a battery operated radio. Most important of all … we had each other.
A matter of great importance, at least to me, was that the Beatles were coming to town to perform at the Gator Bowl. The Beatles! Here! John, Paul, George, and Ringo were going to be at the stadium singing my favorite songs. I was beside myself. I was in love with George. If only we could meet. I would leave my boyfriend and marry George. Silly, foolish girl…
Dark and stormy soon became dark and gloomy. My boyfriend refused to take me to the Beatles concert. I, who had no money at all, offered to find a way to pay for the tickets. My soon-to-be-almost-ex-boyfriend said it wasn’t about the money … it was about him not wanting to see the Beatles. He was jealous of George. That had to be it!
Yes! It was about to become very dark and gloomy. I refused to talk to my steady beau until he agreed to drive to the stadium just so I could see the lights and maybe hear the music. The lights were bright, the parking lot was half full, and I couldn’t see a thing. The music was loud and the ground was vibrating, just a little. For a moment, that was good enough for me and all was forgiven.
I sometimes think about Hurricane Dora, President Johnson, Sterno, no school, candlelight, my former boyfriend, picnics on the family room floor, the stories our parents shared with us, the importance of family … and, of course, the Beatles.
© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.