Severe weather spawns neighborly encounters

Grant-McGeeBy Grant McGee

Local columnist

Did you attend last Friday’s social event?

Folks came out of their houses, stood on their porches, their sidewalks, even their cars.

The invitation to the social event of the season, what brought people out of their houses, came in the form of sirens heralding a wicked looking thunderstorm that packed some tornados.

Earlier that afternoon I was looking out the window of our bicycle shop watching the darkening western sky.

“Is it supposed to rain?” I asked The Lady of the House.

“Your weather guy said there was a chance,” she said, referring to my day job at the radio station.

“I wasn’t paying attention,” I said. “I just work there.”

“That explains a lot,” said The Lady of the House.

A while later the city tornado sirens were sounding and our cell phones were receiving tornado warnings. We decided to close up shop and head home.

As we drove back to the Stucco Hacienda we noticed a lot of folks standing outside talking, gesturing and looking at the ominous black cloud.

“I bet these folks haven’t talked to each other since that last storm during the county fair last year, remember, when the clouds were swirling above our house?” said The Lady of the House.

“I can hear it now,” I said. “’Hey Fred, haven’t talked to you since that big storm last August. Say, your Christmas light display was great.’”

“Thanks, Joe,” Fred says, “Say, what was that big wing-ding you had in your backyard in April?’”

“Oh, daughter got married.”

“And you didn’t invite me and Madge?”

“Well,” says Joe, “You know, we barely know each other. We may be neighbors but we only see each other when these big storms come.”

“Ain’t it the truth,” says Fred.

“You suppose this is the first time some people have met their neighbors?” asked The Lady of the House.

“Entirely possible,” I said.

“Well then, that does make this the social event of the season,” she said.

Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life. Contact him at his blog:  

grantmcgeewrites.com.