Notes, quotes and a memory of a tornado

“A new study,” says late night funnyman Jimmy Fallon, “found that women think men holding a guitar are more attractive, even if they’re not playing. In a related story, guys with an accordion will die alone.”

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I see by the paper…..
Much is being written these days about the “debris ball” within a tornado. The big twister that nailed Moore, Okla., recently had a debris ball more than two miles wide. When the storm dissipated, the debris fell onto the greater Tulsa metro area.
Reminds of a story.

Back when Susan and I were first married and without children, I was the editor of the community daily newspaper in Pauls Valley, Okla. On April 10, 1979, a super cell tornado developed and ripped into Wichita Falls, Texas, killing 42; the storm later reformed and rolled into Lawton, Okla., and claimed three more. Sirens blew in Pauls Valley and there was a call that a tornado was on the ground near a factory in nearby Maysville. Being in the news biz, Susan and I raced to the scene and there was a fire at the facility (she took the page one photo), but the storm never quite generated a tornado, even though there was a wall cloud, descending storm hooks and much cloud rotation above.

Instead, the story the next day was how the cloud had dissipated over Pauls Valley and had deposited Wichita Falls’ debris all over town. People collected the stuff in sacks and brought them into the newspaper. After awhile, we ran out of room and memorabilia from the big night transitioned into trash. Of note was how a 1959 high school yearbook from Wichita Falls fell in our front yard, almost in pristine condition. By reading all the notes and salutations that graduating seniors have from peers, we were able to return the book to its owner.

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Dept. of incidental (movie) info…
• Actor Donald Sutherland was so convinced of “Animal House’s” lack of potential at the movie box office, that, when offered a percent of the gross or a flat fee of $75,000 for his three days’ work, he took the upfront payment. Had he taken the gross percentage he would have been paid around an additional $3-4 million. The next highest paid actor in the film was John Belushi. He made $40,000.
• Everyone knows the creature Frankenstein came to life after being “recharged” by lightning. However, the method of animating the creature is never discussed in Mary Shelley’s novel. In the book, Dr. Frankenstein refused to divulge how he did it so no one could re-create his actions. However, the use of lightning to resurrect the monster has become the accepted methodology and appears in virtually every Frankenstein movie since, according to the website devoted to movies, www.imdb.com.

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Quotable

“Go to heaven for the climate; to hell for the company.”

— Mark Twain, American novelist/humorist, 1835-1910

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