Su-POS-sedly, it was our Oklahoma Native son, Will Rogers, who coined the phrase:
If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, just wait a minute.
Monday afternoon, Gary England, our renowned meteorologist who was made quasi-famous by his background broadcast of the tornadic activity in the blockbuster movie, “Twister,” began sending tweets back-to-back-to-back. I won’t belabor the details, but they basically happened in a sequence like this: Oklahoma is getting stormy. Now it’s turning into weirdness. Okay, now it’s hail. Oklahoma City and Edmond now receiving a blanket of pea-sized hail. Okay, we’re all clear again.
Evidently, Blake Brown was driving across Oklahoma City midtown just as the storm was breaking up. He captured this beautiful image of the storm dissipating over the city just as quickly as it had come:
Oh, sci-fi movies…your special effects don’t have anything on reality.
I suppose it was a Saturday afternoon. It could have easily been a weekday in early summer. Hair clippings clumped around the base of my dad’s barber chair and it was my habit to grab a broom and sweep from time to time. (A habit highly encouraged by my dad).
The barber shop had three, huge store-front windows. They seemed particularly large to an eleven year old who had to clean them. The sunshine across Evans Avenue was long gone. The air was peculiarly static. Folks outside moved purposefully to their vehicles, casting weary glances at an ominous gathering of clouds.
A storm was coming. It had been a topic of conversation that afternoon in the barber shop.
In Oklahoma, there is often a strange stillness and weightiness to the air before a storm. We have “thunder-boomers” and tornados; it’s not a storm unless it affects you personally. There weren’t sophisticated weather reports and no such things as Doppler radar. We stepped out front to survey the color of the sky, the smell of the air and checked horizons for wall clouds. It had grown too dark to tell very much, and it was still the middle of the day.
I don’t remember how the storm front arrived; I am very familiar with hundreds of Oklahoma storm fronts since. I do remember looking across the street at the large trees behind the Malone Ford Dealership. The tops of trees were starting to whip violently. This was turning into the scariest storm of my young life. There was blowing debris, the building creaked, and the windows actually bowed. I was terrified! Continue reading Barbershop Theology: Let’s Make A Deal