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MASTER OF THE MAELSTROMS

BY AARON COOK Growing up in the 80s I was – by every definition your typical Dallas suburban kid. I spent my summers exploring the undeveloped fields behind my house, playing pin dodge in the front yard, catching locusts out of trees and riding my BMX bike everywhere my wiry legs would carry me – which was mostly to the arcade to play PacMan and 7-Eleven to buy Slurpees. But some of my best childhood memories were forged in the shadows of Texas thunderstorms. I’d sit on the street curb and wait as the wind shifted from warm to cool and the sunlight was slowly taken hostage by the darkening storm fronts. I counted the seconds as time lapsed between lightning and thunder, then scurry to the living room to watch the local weather on TV. Troy, the weather guy, always wore bowties, which somehow that made him more credible to me. As the storms raged outside, he was our voice of calm inside.

Fast-forward 35 years, the weather is no less intimidating than it was when I was a kid. In fact, it seems to be acting out in a heightened state of ferocity these days. From severe droughts that invite wildfires to hurricanes that give birth to 100-year floods and subzero polar vortexes that grind cities to a halt - it’s clear the weather is no respecter of persons or property. Maybe that’s why it continues to captivate us. 10

Photo by Nickolas Noon on Unsplash

Of course, technology was still in its infancy - these were the days of Pong, AOL dial up, dot matrix printers and VCRs. So, weather forecasts were often… “off”.

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