Furious spurious wind
After last week’s column on the big storm back in the 1970s, I got quite a number of calls. Even in the mild Mediterranean-style weather we have here in Glen Ellen, folks love to contemplate, review and discuss the weather. As a species, we’ve been talking about the weather since hominids first gathered around a blazing fire grunting their appreciation.
Now, in our era, the weather has become almost as treacherous and mysterious as what our earlier ancestors experienced. It also seems that things we can’t control, but must experience, make us want to share. No doubt weather – hot enough to make cool water imminently necessary, or cold enough to require furs and fires – was one of the strong motivating factors in development of communication. We humans love to reminisce about storms of the past and anticipate sunny days of the future.
But mostly we like to know what’s real and true. Hmm, and that’s a mark I missed last week, as I do from time to time. So when was it, really?
Last week’s column had more than a few errors. The best call I got in that regard was from Steven somebody or other who didn’t necessarily want his name in the news, but was willing to talk. I appreciate both sentiments.
Given the beautiful chaos and busyness of this time of year, I didn’t spend much time trying to convince Steven that his story was important as any other I’d be likely to write about. But I did get his phone number and one of these days, I’ll call this gentle reader back to get more of his telling tales of our town.
Steven grew up in Glen Ellen and his stories are just the kind of food for thought that fills this column.
Turns out Steven’s memory is far clearer than mine. Which, actually isn’t a difficult state to attain. He said he was sure that the storm I referred to last week was in 1976, not 1975. After a search of The Sonoma Index-Tribune archives, I have to admit he’s right.
Proof of the pudding is on the server
And so I offer him thanks. His inquiry led to a rabbit hole of research that occupied a good portion of a day and was frankly fascinating. According to the Dec. 2, 1976 issue of this paper, that Nov. 26 storm was one even old-timers hadn’t experienced. Wild winds with gusts up to 70 mph wrought havoc, which is just the kind of alliteration this columnist loves and either irritates or enthralls readers. You know where you sit on that issue.
For me, I even love reading the old columns (and not just my own). Stacia Derickson, who was the Glen Ellen columnist in the years of that big storm, shared the true news of that day, “Residents of Glen Ellen (along with the rest of Sonoma Valley) were treated to a real display of temper from Mother Nature last Friday night … more of a treatment than a treat as cars were crushed under falling limbs, electrical wires and telephone lines were torn loose from houses and poles, fences were toppled over and roof tops blown away.”