Hurricane Camille

In the mountain slopes between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, more than 26 inches (660 mm) of rain fell in 12 hours, but the worst was in Nelson County where 27 inches (690 mm) fell. There, rainfall was so heavy that reports were received of birds drowning in trees, cows floating down the Hatt Creek and of survivors having to cup hands around their mouth and nose in order to breathe through the deluge. Though the official rainfall was recorded as 27 inches, unofficial estimates are much greater. Some estimate that more than 40 inches of rain fell at Davis Creek. Most gauges were washed away; however, it was reported that an empty 55 gallon drum that was not even in the center of the heaviest rainfall had 31 inches of water in it after Camille passed. “So much rain fell in such a short time in Nelson County that, according to the National Weather Service at the time, it was ‘the probable maximum rainfall which meteorologists compute to be theoretically possible.’ “

The ensuing flash floods and mudslides killed 153 people. In Nelson County alone, 133 bridges washed out, while in some places entire communities were under water.

Based on my recent posts, you probably have surmised that I recently went to Nelson County, Virginia. Marta has a friend whose parents built a cabin on top of one of the mountains there and invited her out for a weekend. Marta’s son, Billy, couldn’t get off of work. Her daughter, Tessa, is away at school. And Marta’s boy friend, Rick, the nose-picking, belly belching, butt scratching, pugnacious college professor, can’t be taken out in public so she asked me to go.

We had access to a couple of ATVs that we used on the many trails around the mountain which was a lot of fun.  ]
””””””””’.„„„„„„„„„,””””””””””””] (Sorry, the cat just walked across the keyboard.) 

One morning, myself and Ed, him packing a 9mm in case we came across “critters”, took a hike as the sun was coming up – bloodlight and gold all over Redbud, Dogwood, Mountain Laurel, hardwoods leafing out, stink bugs, deer ticks, bear scat. It’s hard to be in Nelson County and not see the effects of Hurricane Camille on the mountains as well as on the people who live there. Camille was back in 1969. 1% of the county lost their lives. Everywhere you look, the scars are still there.

Based on my recent posts, you probably have surmised that I recently went to Nelson County, Virginia. Marta has a friend whose parents built a cabin on top of one of the mountains there and invited her out for a weekend. Marta’s son, Billy, couldn’t get off of work. Her daughter, Tessa, is away at school. And Marta’s boy friend, Rick, the nose-picking, belly belching, butt scratching, pugnacious college professor, can’t be taken out in public so she asked me to go.

We had access to a couple of ATVs that we used on the many trails around the mountain which was a lot of fun. ]
””””””””’.„„„„„„„„„,””””””””””””] (Sorry, the cat just walked across the keyboard.)

One morning, myself and Ed, him packing a 9mm in case we came across “critters”, took a hike as the sun was coming up – bloodlight and gold all over Redbud, Dogwood, Mountain Laurel, hardwoods leafing out, stink bugs, deer ticks, bear scat. It’s hard to be in Nelson County and not see the effects of Hurricane Camille on the mountains as well as on the people who live there. Camille was back in 1969. 1% of the county lost their lives. Everywhere you look, the scars are still there.

Nacho and I are trying to get caught up on Girls but Marta won’t let us watch it on the big TV.  

Nacho wants us to get our own place so that we don’t have to put up with this “entertainment colonialism”, as he calls it, but I don’t see it coming to an end any time soon. 

100 Years of Wussiness is what it’s called, buddy – sucks that karma birthed you smack dab in the middle of it.

Nacho and I are trying to get caught up on Girls but Marta won’t let us watch it on the big TV.

Nacho wants us to get our own place so that we don’t have to put up with this “entertainment colonialism”, as he calls it, but I don’t see it coming to an end any time soon.

100 Years of Wussiness is what it’s called, buddy – sucks that karma birthed you smack dab in the middle of it.

We are born from a dream world and we die back into one. And, in between, what we think of as reality, gradually fades in, then gradually fades out. Children understand this but soon forget. Old people become feeble and confused because they fight it. Acquiescence, acceptance, looks to those of us who are watching like senility and dementia but it is natural and good. At least, that’s what I was taught.

The DVD showed up yesterday, addressed to me even though I never ordered it. But when I opened the package, a chill shot through my body. I immediately remembered a dream. I was in one of a handful of dream worlds that I visit in my sleep from time to time. There was a small fire and some of my things were destroyed – this movie among them. I was upset but someone told me not to worry – things could always be replaced.

I don’t have any idea when I had this dream and only remembered it when I tore open the cardboard package. I don’t even own a DVD player. And yet here it is – Inside Llewyn Davis, Blu-ray edition – exactly like the one that was melted by the fire that happened in my dream.

We are born from a dream world and we die back into one. And, in between, what we think of as reality, gradually fades in, then gradually fades out. Children understand this but soon forget. Old people become feeble and confused because they fight it. Acquiescence, acceptance, looks to those of us who are watching like senility and dementia but it is natural and good. At least, that’s what I was taught.

The DVD showed up yesterday, addressed to me even though I never ordered it. But when I opened the package, a chill shot through my body. I immediately remembered a dream. I was in one of a handful of dream worlds that I visit in my sleep from time to time. There was a small fire and some of my things were destroyed – this movie among them. I was upset but someone told me not to worry – things could always be replaced.

I don’t have any idea when I had this dream and only remembered it when I tore open the cardboard package. I don’t even own a DVD player. And yet here it is – Inside Llewyn Davis, Blu-ray edition – exactly like the one that was melted by the fire that happened in my dream.

Dave Brockie, GWAR’s Oderus Urungus, Dies At 50

The last time I saw Gwar live was at a Christmas show at the old Rockets on Broad Street in 1989. You have to see them live to get the full Gwar experience – you just do – and this was one that I’ll never forget.

From the very first cord the music felt like someone was kicking you in the chest and the crowd, lubricated with one dollar Carling Black Labels, went into a frenzy almost immediately. It didn’t take long to realize that this was a thrash metal nativity play complete with space alien wise men, Dave Brockie performing lewd acts on deformed manger animals, and a topless Mary giving birth to the baby Jesus on a toilet throne - hoses of fake-blood coating everyone with a thick, red muck. By the time the actual birth took place, the whole room was one giant mosh pit. At some point I hopped up on stage and jumped out into the crowd only to find myself on the floor among a thousand legs and feet where my nose was broken and one of my shoes lost.

The broken nose took a bit of the vinegar out of me, so I went looking for my girlfriend to see if she was ready to go but she had already left. I thought about retrieving my shoe but, by then, the baby Jesus had grown into “Corpus Crispy” and was singing backup, and the crowd was predatory – they had no patience for someone looking for something as mendacious as a shoe.

I was living across the river near Forest Hill Park at the time and figured that if I was going to get home that night I’d better start hitchhiking. Of course nobody stopped since I was covered in dried blood – I must have looked like an extra from Carrie – and I ended up walking the whole way – in one shoe. By the time I did get home a couple of my toes were starting to show signs of frostbite. I ended us loosing the tip of one of them.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t look down and notice this naked foot – the still weird asymmetry of it. And when that happens, it summons a smoke machined vision of Oderus Urungus humping a two-headed manger mule – every single day since December 24, 1989, I see my toe and he be humping. No matter where I am or what kind of day I’m having, it always makes me smile.