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Storms and Weather


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Storms and Weather

  1. 1. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!
  2. 2. Preface / IntroductionHurricane "Sandy" and Hurricane "Irene" with articles related on weather...
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. On the vernal equinox and the advent of spring. All poets need apply.2. Darlin, everybody hustles. Its just a question of how, when and where. A tale of pre-KatrinaNew Orleans and your business success.3. The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind, the answer is blowin in the wind. Waiting forHurricane Irene in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 28, 2011.4. Autumn comes to New England, September, 2011. And we are glad of it.5. First snow comes to Cambridge, February 12, 2012, a story of lifes unpredictable savor and joys.6. Summer guilt, A Summer Place, Anne Hutchinson and fare home in the dog days.
  4. 4. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!On the vernal equinox and the advent of spring. All poetsneed Dr. Jeffrey LantAn event occurred just the other day which impacts each and every one of us on Spaceship Earth,but which hardly one of us knows anything about and mentions, if at all, quite casually. Yet somomentous is this occurrence, coming with clock like precision, that our very existences dependupon it; nothing could be less prosaic, nothing more significant.It is the vernal equinox...Hereabouts in old New England, the vernal equinox took place at 7:21 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time,March 20, 2011. The spring we have all been awaiting, the spring that delivers the relief from theoppression of cold and damp and short dull days, the spring that blows soft winds, as so manyunexpected kisses -- and flowers, too -- that spring, right on the dot, arrived...but we were heavy laden and may have been distracted when it came as our new reality.Good citizens of this galaxy, give an ear now to this great event, which next occurs September 22,2011 at 10:49 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.There is nothing that concerns you more than these great celestial movements, the unheard butmomentous, unearthly music of the spheres, awesome, terrible, the very stuff of grandeur, eternal,too.Put aside mundane concerns and remember, for an instant, who you are, a one-way passenger on thegreatest of galleons, and wither it goes, you go.What is an equinox anyway?An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earths axis is inclined neither away from nortowards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earths equator. The termequinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens.The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin "aequus" (equal) and "nox" (night) because aroundthe equinox, the night and day have approximately equal length. Each are, then, about 12 hours long(with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few daysbefore the vernal equinox.) The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactlydue east and sets exactly due west.But of all this, we need remember only one thing: the vernal equinox, and the unending adjustmentswe make to the matter of human time, are all about light and the Sun at the center of our universe.Sol Invictus.While the celestial movements, now this way, now that, are liable to confuse; we all know thecrucial significance of our Sun; even the youngest amongst us looks up, involuntarily to admire,rejoice, and be glad of it. Our Sun, of an immensity and heat unimaginable, is brought nearer to us,and happily so, with the vernal equinox.We are, all of us, Sun worshippers... for without it there would be nothing here for us, or of us either.The vernal equinox brings that Sun closer.Tinkerings with time. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 4 of 22
  5. 5. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!Tinkerings with time.Because of its unexcelled desirability, we humans have long been beguiled with the notion of how toget more of the Sun we crave. All ancient peoples, particularly the Greeks and Persians, thesophisticates of antiquity, gave serious attention to the matter. Sadly, much of their findings are lost;what remains from the works of Greek astronomer and mathematician Hipparchus (ca. 190- ca.120BC) and Aristarchus of Samos (around 280 BC) is suggestive of their expertise and insights. But wecannot tell more.However, we do know about Benjamin Franklin, jack of all trades, master of all.Franklin, with his unstoppable curiosity, wanted what only God could deliver: more time. It is easyto see why he desired it so: he, long before Edna St. Vincent Millay, burnt the candle at both ends,and not in purely scientific endeavors, either. At the Court of the Bourbons of France there were anynumber of elegantes who found Franklin, American minister, worthy of closer study. There wasnever enough time to gratify them all...And so Franklin advanced the suggestion that became daylight savings. It was a quintessentiallyAmerican proposal -- bold, audacious, practical, based on science, not theology. Sadly, it is still notclear that it actually works... and each American state, every single one, is by law entitled to adopt it,or not. For God and His equinox time is simple, majestic; humans muddle the matter, to generalgrumbling and consternation.But not poets...All poets worth their salt weigh in with a will on one of their signature topics: the advent of light, ofSun, of spring. So excited are they by this topic, that they are severely prone to skip over the residueof winter that comes in the first spring days of March, concentrating on the riotous, unrestraineddays of April and May. This is wrong, and Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) rightly noted in"Fishermans Luck" (1899)."The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between themis as great as a month."Having said this, I confess I, too, want immediate egress from the grim, cold, muddy days of Marchspring. I am impatient, like Walt Whiteman:"Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling."(1819-1892) From "Leaves of Grass" (1855; 1891-92.)Patient through long, drear winters we can be but as we see relief near at hand, we can be patient nolonger, for we know, we all know, what is coming and we cannot longer wait. Still liable to betripped up by winter... we are adamant that the spring is coming."The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun isout and the wind is still, Youre one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare tospeak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And youre two monthsback in the middle of March."Robert Frost (1874-1963) "Two Tramps in Mud Time" (1936).But I cannot better end than by urging you to find in any search engine your favorite recording ofAaron Copelands "Appalachian Spring" (premiered 1944).... It will seize you, uplift you, refreshyou... and perfectly position you, in reverence, as you walk into this springtime of your life,whatever your age or circumstances. We are all young again in springtime... such is the magic of the Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 5 of 22
  6. 6. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!vernal equinox. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 6 of 22
  7. 7. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!Darlin, everybody hustles. Its just a question of how, whenand where. A tale of pre-Katrina New Orleans and yourbusiness success.By Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. I didnt have to look for the perfect tune to accompany this article. Iveknown it for decades. "Im still here," from Stephen Sondheims incredible musical "Follies" (1971).Its a song about grit, determination, doing what you have to do with the person you must do itwith... to move up, move on, and force the big guys at the top to move over. This is the song youlisten to on days when the recalcitrant world is just not going the way you want... its the song youlisten to when you mean to change that... and try again, because thats what winners do and loserscant even imagine. Go to any search engine now... go into a room all by yourself, the better to turnup the volume to the ear-shattering range... and let Sondheims incredible music waft you to the placeof your dreams... then listen to what you have to do to get there!In the days before Hurricane Katrina, I used to frequently teach marketing communications at theUniversity of New Orleans. My classes were held on week days downtown and on Saturdays onLake Pontchartrain, whose name I loved, coming as it does from a great French statesman who hadthe infinite good sense to be painted by Robert Le Vrac de Tournieres (1667-1752). I loved thatpicture from the first moment I saw it... and I loved New Orleans, too, its people, its spirit, its oftenpainful madcappery and self destruction. When I came to know about "A Confederacy of Dunces"by John Kennedy Toole (published 1980), I read it with an avidity fed by its macabre history; (theauthor had to commit suicide before any publisher would condescend to review it; it then went on towin the Pulitzer Prize). From the very moment I left my hotel room (where I spent the absoluteminimum amount of time) adventures were drawn to me, because they knew I was completelyreceptive to them.Her name was Yvette...On my very first day in New Orleans (it was a Friday), I stayed in a big, fancy hotel just off theFrench Quarter. I never made that mistake again; on my many future visits I always stayed in a littlehotel in the Quarter, steps from the wonderful people I met who filled me with admiration for theirzest for living and unadulterated joy under unremitting duress.The first person who met me (note the language) was a person who looked to me like Tinkerbell onsomething. He walked up to me and said, "Honey, I can tell you are new to La Nouvelle Orleans. Letme be your guide". I had never, and I mean never, been spoken to like that... but I recognized inthese words Fates distinctive messenger. I accepted, bought my guide a drink... and in due course,having gleaned without difficulty but with some incredulity that I was a writer, he said, "But youmust meet Yvette." Of course, I must. That too was Fate...She was, as the French say, a woman of a certain age; that might have been anything from forty intoeternity. I knew at once she had that unmistakable quality the Parisians call "chien". Yes, I knowthat means "dog", and its English connotations are not good... but she had, and unmistakenly, thatmixture of age, chic, dress sense, allure and brass that forces one involuntarily to look back and besad that vision is rushing to be with someone else. But this time, perhaps for the first time, thiswoman with a Past was going to influence my future... and I was ready to hear whatever she said.The conversation turned to life... it always does in the French Quarter with such people as Yvette.With each drink (and there were many) came another piquant observation that convinced me "real"life and I had only a nodding acquaintance. Yvette knew the vicissitudes of life inside and out... and Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 7 of 22
  8. 8. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!I was bright enough to pay close attention to her observations, often as diamond sharp as Madamede Sevigne (1626-1696). This one completely arrested my attention:"Darlin, everybody hustles. Its just a question of how, when and where." It instantly occurred to methat this is precisely the element missing from far too many of my business students and peoplestarting and running businesses generally. They are running businesses; they are not hustling forsuccess as if their very lives were dependant on it... and that was the reason so many of them werebarely getting by and wondering why, when they were such good and proper folk.Its because they were missing what Yvette had to spare: hustle. In short they wanted success, butthey wanted it on their terms... which just aint gonna happen.YOU say you want success, but (for whatever reason) you are not willing to work all the necessaryhours it takes to achieve success. SUCCESS says, "You will work as many hours as it takes tocapture me... not merely the hours you wish to work."YOU say you want success, but are not willing to work evenings, week-ends, even standardholidays. SUCCESS says, "If you want me, you must be willing to sacrifice time youd like to usefor other things. Choose!"YOU say you want success, but youll only do jobs that make you such-and-such amount. SUCCESSsays, "If you want the money, stoop to conquer. When youve got the money you want, then you canafford to be so picky. But that day hasnt dawned yet."YOU say you want success, but your spouse is doing everything but put you in a cage to make sureyou cant achieve it. SUCCESS says "Sugarbabe, there are more good women and men in the seathan those whove come out. Dig my meaning?"YOU say you want success, but youll only look at business opportunities that cost you nothing.SUCCESS says "Lambikins, aint nothin ever come from nothin. Youve gotta invest to get a returnon that investment."Still more...YOU say you want success, but you are not willing to do the necessary homework and due diligenceto ensure that what you do delivers the substantial rewards you want. SUCCESS says, "Quit tryingto beat the system. People who make money are constant, never-ceasing students of success. Theyreview each and every thing to understand how it works... then follow the directions EXACTLY toachieve success. They are not trying to cut corners, because they know that doesnt work."YOU say you want success but once you get some, you dont gun it to get more. SUCCESS says,"Every successful person on earth has a success system. They know that if they do X, they will getY results. Thus, as soon as they are successful and can prove their system delivers the desired results(or even better), they arrange their time and resources so they can replicate their successful systemover and over again, each time reaping the expected (and ever increasing) benefits."YOU say you will study successful people to see how they do and how they work because youunderstand that the achievement of success is inextricably linked to studying the successful andmaking a point of then doing what they do. SUCCESS says, "Well, are you studying the successful?I certainly havent seen you around anyone but your low-down worthless friends. The only timetheyll appear in the media is for robbing a convenience store! Dump em."YOU say you want success on the Internet. Good for you; its where lots of people nowadays get bigbucks and worldwide, too. SUCCESS says, "Youre all talk and no action You dont have anyone tohelp you. You dont have the necessary tools you need; you dont have the training. And, as for your Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 8 of 22
  9. 9. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!traffic, thats a joke that you dont know how to fix. Moreover, you have no way to profit 24 hours aday in this demanding 24-hour-a-day environment.And what of Yvette?...Lets just say my appreciation for Yvette and what she taught me did not flag as the hours advanced.And as for her profound insight into the sustained hustling all true success seekers must engage in?...why that has now gone from just Yvette to me... and now from me to you... for my next adventure...and, by grasping this article and its recommendations, for your faster, greater, truly impressivesuccess. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 9 of 22
  10. 10. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind, the answer isblowin in the wind. Waiting for Hurricane Irene inCambridge, Massachusetts, August 28, 2011.By Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Whether it is because of the unsettling information we have received minuteby minute over the last few days; whether it is because of the ominous predictions of so manyknowledgeable authorities; whether it is because it is just 5:48 a.m. and it is still pitch black, themoment of the day when night fights its ouster and will not cede to the light, I cannot say... but thisis a moment of apprehension, disquiet...even dread.This is the moment we remember the power of a Nature we so often forget and so regularly outrage.Now this Nature has reminded us of where true power resides... and of what it means when we talkof an "act of God."For now, this very minute, amongst the treasures and securities of my comfortable life, I await theadvent of the manifestation of unrelenting power, a force capable of disrupting this cherished life inan instant, leaving me, and millions like me, bereft, shocked, lamenting.This is the tale of an act of God, called Irene by mankind; this is the tale of one man in storms path,waiting, waiting, every daily occupation and thought now set aside while we await the capriciousjudgement of this mighty storm.We ask ourselves and carefully scan our multitude of information sources for answers to theseinsistent queries:When will it hit?Where will it hit?How long will it punish us?What will it take... what will it leave?These are the questions of the hour... and we have only the fallible devices of challenged mankind toanswer them... and so "the answer is blowin in the wind..." Thus I selected "Blowin in the Wind" fortodays background music. You can easily find it in any search engine. Find it now and listencarefully.Written by Bob Dylan in 1962, it became the anthem of a restless generation... which wantedanswers... and got none. Now I want answers, too, and renewed securities and peace of mind.... Butnone but God Himself could reassure me at this moment when even the coolest hand of all cravesconfidence to be reinforced, restored.6:25 a.m., first light.From the window of my study I look out upon the usual early day scene. There is rain in the air...and a light breeze blows the still-green leaves, not yet touched by an autumn now just days away. Itis quiet now... no living soul to be seen. This is my world... and at this moment no man alive couldsay what its condition will be just hours away. But we know, in every fibre, that what is present nowwill somehow be different, great or small; storms, even as they weaken, make sure of that.6:48 a.m. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 10 of 22
  11. 11. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!Like millions I scan the news services, not so much for a history of this storms destructiveness as forclues and prognostications of what my future holds in the hours ahead. Fallible though even thegreatest storm authorities can be, I nonetheless examine their predictions with care; my life, myfuture, perhaps my very existence on this planet is here foreshadowed. Whether the news beintoxicatingly good or the very worst it could be, I must know...While scanning my sources, gleaning every fact, I note the condition of my dining room; my stormcommand center. There are crumbs on floor and table, this room with its historic paintings on thewall not as pristine and well ordered as usual.... and theres the open pizza box, a certain sign thatlast nights meal was eaten in a rush, gulped down while listening to the latest storm coverage.People facing grave disruption, even extinction do not concern themselves with dirty dishes andwayward crumbs. They have graver issues at hand than where crumbs have fallen and what to dowith last nights congealed remains. Normality is when these matters regain our notice with broomand dust pan at the ready. What seizes my attention now is battlefield intelligence from this fast-moving war zone.9 of my fellow humans, quick and alive just hours ago, now dead. Irene has cost them everythingwhile robbing us of the necessary time and mental state essential for mourning. For now, the deadmust take care of the dead; the living have other priorities.Item: Millions of people from first battered North Carolina north have "at this hour" (as only t.v.newscasters ever say) no electricity... Its loss drives home their vulnerability and submission to thestorm. To be without power is to lose the vital moorings of life. To lose power is to be removed atan instant from every essential service of the 21st century. We feel its loss keenly, for the loss ofpower is crippling, humbling, demoting us in an instant to the primitive realities of our ancestorswho lived with the reality that it is better to light just one little candle than curse the darkness. Doyou have your candle ready for just this moment? I do...8:01 a.m.The news reports are coming in thick and fast now as sleepy journalists file the days first reports.Outside the windows the trees now bend low before a wind not so gentle as before. The light ofearly Sunday morning is greyer now and obscured by the rain, now heavier, harder falling. Is this aworrisome portent of what we may expect as Irene moves toward us... or is it but the kind of stormthat irritates and inconveniences but does not disrupt or kill?While I wonder, the great cities of the Eastern seaboard are shuttered, quiet, watchful; its inhabitantschary, anxious, hopeful that they and their world will survive intact, this incident to be forgotten, notthe day of dread remembrance which may still be their fate. They cannot know if their roofs willhold, they cannot know if they will suffer and lose all; they cannot know if dear friends andneighbors will die. And they cannot know in these hours before impact if they will live... or benothing more than a statistic, dead, so brought to oblivion by Irenes thoughtless puissance.Its winds now 115 miles per hour.Its wingspan 500 miles.Frothing the sea with waves of 7 feet.And the most important statistic of all: 65,00,000 million people directly impacted, prisoners of aremorseless presence, disregarding the people of this land, their lives and occupations. Storms carenothing for these; their movements, their actions; in everything they do explicable only tothemselves and answerable to none. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 11 of 22
  12. 12. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!8:30 a.m.Darkness now covers the land, the day now awash in heavy rain from a darkening sky. Except for afew daredevils, impacted humanity is now inside, hopeful, a nervous prayer on their lips and quietwords to God for deliverance. My shutters are beating now against the glass... the chandelier abovemy head has now flickered and flickered again. Thus does the great storm announce its movementsand threaten our already threatened equilibrium.It is said that there are no atheists in a fox hole. Neither do such disbelievers abide in storm zonesand catastrophes. In such times prayers come as easily as breathing. As the stormy sea rises, as theseas rush in to threaten and drown our realities, this is my prayer, for myself and my beleagueredfellow travelers now facing the fate that great Irene carries through the surges for us all:"O Eternal Lord God, who alone spreads out the heavens and rules the raging of the seas, receiveinto your protection all those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business on the greatwaters. Preserve them both in body and soul, prosper their labors with good success, in all times ofdanger, be their defense, and bring them to the haven where they would be, through Jesus Christ ourLord. Amen."Let God hear this our prayer for we are all mariners today, threatened by Irenes great wind, roilingthe seas around us... and so now we wait... prepare... and pray,, our Lord our sure redeemer now andforever. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 12 of 22
  13. 13. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!Autumn comes to New England, September, 2011. And weare glad of it.By Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Our first travelers to Massachusetts arrived at Plymouth just in time forWinter, too late for Autumn, specifically trodding on terra firma, December 26, 1620... and werethey ever irritated, taking the opportunity to lambast the luckless captain who delivered them so lateafter a most disagreeable voyage, my dear, anxious for something new and exciting, but not (so theyall later agreed) so new and exciting as the standard walloping, punishing New England Winter theycame to know so well.And so the mystique of Autumn, as something worth having and decidedly superior to what follows,was planted at once... and has never waned. And for good reason.Autumn in New England is not merely a season. It is a mood, evocative, sacerdotal, an essentialexperience for the sensitive and anyone with the soul of a poet. It is a season that forces us to dealwith transition, decay, transient beauty, and history scattered around and through the hamlets, towns,and occasional city. Indeed there is a feeling, never shared with outsiders and casual visitors, thateach and every citizen of New England is merely history that hasnt quite happened yet. History inNew England is not merely vestiges of things past; it is present reality, no ghost, but events of longago, our neighbors still, as fresh today as at inception. This view of ancestors puzzles casualtravelers who have no ancestors. They come from places without History... and are, of course, of noconsequence whatever. They naturally take umbrage and as many pictures of dying foliage as thetraffic allows. We are glad to see the back of them.States that more (or less) make up New England.It is well known to even the least educated that New England is comprised of six states:Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut. The leasteducated, however, know nothing more than that and are not, therefore, in a position to inform youof sundry facts which if left untold to you will create problems for life and submerge your socialstanding. Here are the facts:* Massachusetts is the largest New England state and offers a dizzying array of important events,people, ideas, institutions, etc. I dont have either the time or inclination to share these significantdetails... for that you must visit any one of our dwindling number of bookstores and buy something.We need the money.Autumn in Massachusetts is most about students arriving at pluperfect academies and institutions ofhigher learning graced by Corinthian columns and departments of humanities beset by troubles andthe budget axe at every side. Such institutions attract the brightest students of the world. Sadly, eventhese are less educated than their parents, though they pay substantially more for what no oneanymore considers a "good" education. Future students enrolled in such places in what is known asthe Bay State will come for only a few weeks or even a few days, the prime objective being to saythey "went" to (whatever institution they may claim) and to have their pictures taken in front ofthose venerable columns. Of course, it goes without saying that tuition and fees will not decline;rather the reverse. You will remember: we need the money.Rhode Island, minute state, longest name.Rhode Island, the littlest state, suffers from an indelible inferiority complex which has produced inonce nick-named "Little Rhody" the insistent temerity of the "mouse that roared." Rhode Islanders Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 13 of 22
  14. 14. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!take no guff, and with that chip on the shoulder, defy you to knock it off. Even the boldest thinktwice before they try...Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was founded by zealous brethen who grew appalled andaggravated with the sanctimonies and regulations of their former colleagues in Massachusetts andwalked to a new destiny, one in which their truth was The Truth. So busy with the business of God,they had no time for the wistful vistas and God-delivered splendors of Autumn.In due course, after their relationship with God was well and truly cemented and its manifestations --money -- began to pour in... Rhode Islanders of means (and there were many) had no time forAutumn... they were busily spending their millions on sad copies of European culture and so nickingtheir fortunes and ensuring the sniggers of more enlightened, less respectful generations.Later, in recent years, Rhode Islanders still had no time for Autumn. Gambling, lurid sex, andcorrupt politics held sway... and to those who indulged the only season that mattered was the seasonin which their nocturnal activities waxed.As a result of all these episodes Rhode Island came to know nothing at all of Autumn... somethingthe more enlightened amongst them should regret, but probably do not.New Hampshire.There was no "Massachusetts" in the Old Country; there was no "Rhode Island." But there was apeaceful place, a verdant place... called Hampshire. It is no wonder new citizens of the new landwished to memorialize it and pass a nostalgic hour reliving the place they would always rememberas "home." Such a place is a good place to see and to reflect upon the verities of Autumn, its beauty,its sadness that such beauty must be fleeting.Go, then, to New Hampshire where their by-word is "Live free, or die." It is a silly motto and wouldbe better rendered "Live free, or fight," something feisty, bold, gutsy, uplifting. But at least the folksin New Hampshire mean well, though that isnt always enough. After all, at a time of fiscal austerity,they have wasted millions promoting that foolish motto of theirs.Vermont.Now we come to the Holy of Autumnal Holies, a place as sanctified and revered as Delphi. Itseverything that every Sunday travel supplement says it is... villages rendered and revered by Currierand Ives, places so quaint and tidy you are sure they are imaginary. I confess. I love Vermont inAutumn, and so that is when I scheduled my classes at the University of Vermont. One bows lowbefore such a riot of glorious colors and swiftly dying verdure. Still, I have a pet concern... Vermontis not a name of Old England; rather it is a name of Ancien France, for Vermont ("Green mountain")was an outpost of the Bourbons and reminds us they dreamed imperially, too, if less successfullythan England. Perhaps locals kept the name which concerns me because it was tangible evidence thatthey had pulverized those Frenchies... even to the extent of annexing these words from theirlanguage for eternity... an insult to the people most conscious of the outrage of insult. En garde!Maine... Connecticut.As far as Autumn in New England is concerned, after the "in your face" exuberance of Vermont, therest is dross. Maine, after all, was just a hunk of Massachusetts ripped off the Commonwealth in1820 and established as a "free state," to balance the "slave state" of Missouri then entering theUnion. But we canny folk of Massachusetts are glad; Mainers are poor and exigent. They really needthe money.And as for Connecticut, the less said the better. Connecticut looks today as it has looked for eons Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 14 of 22
  15. 15. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!south to New York and Pennsylvania. The folks in Hartford and environs condescend to the rest ofNew England. We hate them cordially and have made sure to sell them everything we can at inflatedprices. You see, they have the money.At the end...Now you know about Autumn in New England. Book your tickets at once. Bring the family; themore the merrier. And, remember, bring all your credit cards and instruments of credit. Keep inmind at all times, we need the money.Oh, and by the way, should you like a little light music to accompany this article, I recommend EdithPiaf singing "Autumn Leaves", in both Johnny Mercers English and Jacquec Preverts French. It issuperbe. Youll find it in any search engine. Do it now before the falling leaves have all drifted pastyour window... Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 15 of 22
  16. 16. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!First snow comes to Cambridge, February 12, 2012, a storyof lifes unpredictable savor and Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. The sound was unmistakable. It was, quite literally, that harsh, grating noisemade when steel of the most tenacious kind scrapes against unyielding concrete; that immutablething that insists (to the outrage of your ears) it is here today, here tomorrow, here forever.And I cringed, snug abed as I was... for though the drivers of these inexorable machines would likethe shower of municipal largesse that snow rains upon them every single day; these (usually) highschool drop-outs and bumptious get such benefaction only when the snow flies. Miserable for therest of us, this is their happiest time, for inclemency and beautiful large flakes by the million linetheir capacious pockets and always open palms. Thus are they always johnny on the spot to see thissnow, consider the profits in this snow, remove this snow... as loudly as possible and, wheneverpossible, especially at the moment you grasped slumber.So does snow, the most silent thing on Earth, make its presence known by one of the most loud,stentorian and coarse manifestations... and that should have been your first indication that this wasno simple story... quite the reverse... for lifes first lesson (and hard learned by most, too) is thatthings are not always what they seem... something too many romantic young things have learned totheir peril too late..."Let it snow..." some idiots fancy.For this tale of our times, a tale you like me might have often experienced in life without a momentsthoughtful consideration, I have selected an insinuating 1945 tune entitled "Let it snow, let it snow,let it snow," lyrics by Sammy Cahn, composed by Jule Steyne and sung by one of the most unctuousmen ever conceived, Dean Martin. It is a tune that no sensible person likes and which proves yetagain (if necessary) that misinformation set to a bouncy tune gets an award... not its justcome-uppance. (Go to any search engine, find it, and let its lilt uplift you.)My Intention.When I heard the first unmistakable sounds of the snow removal equipment and the loud commands,imprecations and expletives most assuredly not deleted, I knew my fate... for all that it was darkoutside and my penthouse walls were gelid to the touch and its windows emblazoned with the richmunificence of frost expertly etched ..... a clear command I needed to bundle up and go out. Yousee, its my self-imposed and onerous duty to report on my neighborhood and its denizens wheneversomething of note is occurring. And there can be no doubt that the first snow of the new year is suchan event... despite the fact it causes me personal misery of the most acute kind to venture out, thebetter to tell you what is happening and why it is significant. But as the recognized and muchheralded Sage of Cambridge, I know my duty and not even the tundra of Siberia will keep me fromit... though I am paid out in nothing more than chilblain and catarrh.It was melting, melting, melting.I selected this heading for one reason and one reason only: to brag that I was once kissed by TheWicked Witch of the West, the character much better known than the actress who played her in theiconic American film released in 1939, "The Wizard of Oz." Her name was Margaret Hamilton, andwhen I was a student at Harvard I gave a tea-party for her one day and, of course, gave myself thebest seat on the couch thereby enabling me to rub elbows with a legend.She, Miss Hamilton I called her, was a sweetie-pie, my highest compliment. I bought her, from my Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 16 of 22
  17. 17. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!own money too, an exuberant, grand, frilly box of Valentines Day chocolates, of the Russell Stovergeneral store variety. She cooed the expected words "For me?" and graced me with a demure,enchanting smile. Then she kissed me and since I was a boy who had been kissed often enough toknow, I conceived it was a Real Kiss, earnestly meant. But she was a great actress, mistress of everyrole; thus I shall never know... but wonder what would have happened had I been as ardent as she...But I digress...... I simply wanted you to know that the kiss (and the look, mind) she gave me was sufficientlyheated to cause the situation which made her famous, the situation where (doused with commonwater) she melted at the feet of ruby-slippered Dorothy. Perhaps had I melted as well andthoroughly when Miss Hamilton kissed me life might have taken a very different turn...But, again, I digress, for what I should be telling you pertains to melting snow, not paths not takenor unrecognized (for all they were clear and apparent, had you the wit to see).The snow outside my door, the snow for which I was well and truly bundled up, the snow that hadcaused such high jubilation and exuberance amongst Cambridges well-heeled proletariat wasalready melting away, the storm passed on, a wimpish thing to be disdained and dismissed, of noaccount or significance whatsoever. But here, precipitate in my too swift deductions andconclusions, I was most assuredly wrong... for this storm, puny though it may have been, had thepower, ample, too, to change my life... and so it did....Two incidents, one hard upon the heels of another.I returned home not as cold as I thought I would be, not as impressed at Nature and Natures wallopas I expected to be and thought my due for my preparations before going out... a trifle irked at thelittleness I had encountered where I wanted sturm und drang, grandeur, the unspeakable get the picture. But then the phone rang.... and a voice I hadnt heard for ages... was there on theline, in need, happy to overlook the harsh words which had once, I cannot quite remember when,caused estrangement.He had gotten off the train at Harvard Square, climbing the steps towards the Church Street exit andhad fallen hard down several of them. No, he didnt think anything broken, but could he come forsome coffee and solace... could he come, he really meant, for forgiveness and peace-making?So the snow, melted into icy peril on steps trod by thousands, had delivered... an unexpectedopportunity to mend a fence, a fence that never should have been broken in the first place, much lessbroken for so long.And this should have been incident enough for one day, one storm, one sage. But it wasnt... forpuny storms aim to prove a puissance and cool connivance mere bulk cannot deliver.Thus, moments after my now resurrected friend was absolved de facto and with gladness, a carskidded upon the picayune ice and crashed into an unconsidered telephone pole of greatsignificance, removing my telephone service for one day and still unresolved into two. The messagethat now appears when you call my number says the call cannot be put through, that I am in factmarooned inside my world, the sinews of my life so reduced. Thus this thought:Suppose my regained friend had taken a later subway to Harvard... and suppose his hard fall hadoccurred an hour or two later, after my phones went silent; that he had called, but received noanswer. What then? Do you think he, hobbling off, would have tried his impulse later, or simply said"Que sera, sera." I shall never know... and thats why life is so interesting, its uncertainties andunpredictabilities its very essence; our detailed and carefully wrought plans so often so insignificantand overpowered beside them. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 17 of 22
  18. 18. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath! Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 18 of 22
  19. 19. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!Summer guilt, A Summer Place, Anne Hutchinson and farehome in the dog Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Im telling you right from the get-go. I am going to write this article in thetempi of summer... starting with andante non troppo and ending with non troppo, andante bedamned. I go even further: sizzled by sun, devoured by the fastidious creepy crawlies which aboundand find my pristine flesh delectable, and urged by all to "slow down and smell the roses," nevermind that the roses have wilted hereabouts weeks ago and now give scent only a little andbegrudgingly, if they even give scent at all.These weighty matters, the stuff of every summer, all say the same thing: weary voyager you haveearned your rest, sit down in the shade a spell and savor it. I (say I) want to... but it is so verydifficult to do....Guilt.The first thing you should know about summer is this: it is (for me and my kind) the most guiltyseason of the year; each day the conflict grows between what my grandmother said (andexemplified) and summers adamant insistence that the least be done and slowly at that. It is a battlefought yearly in my brain, the more so since I am now that iconic age -- 65 -- the age at which weare outfitted in truss, battered panama hat, a good cane, more free time than anyone needs, and a oneway ticket to the eternal destination.Yes, in my minds eye, it is one of those happily oppressive summers of endless heat... and tasksonly a beloved grannie could even hope to get accomplished.... "First, move those flagstones overthere...." In the home of this matriarch and in those of her offspring, the devils luring ploys for idlehands were not just an adage; they were present realities and if one were not always alert, the wilesof Old Scratch would be one too many for us; and we should be lost to God, Family, and theAmerican way.And so summer meant work... so much so that even summertime recreational rights andobservances often seemed more like work than work itself: "Tuesday, 10 a.m. swimming class.Remember, Jeffrey has a dentist appointment right after. He can change in the car."This was my summer, every summer, punctuated by Y.M.C.A. Day Camp, which I found exquisitetorture. Forced hilarity and good fellowship of the exuberant kind perpetuated by the Rotary Cluband exemplified by "Kumbaya" and college-age torturers masquerading as activity directors, "Hey,Jeff, get the lead out", were not for me. This I demonstrated succinctly when, during archerypractice, I ran away and walked miles along melting asphalt highways to announce I would NEVERGO BACK. And I never did...... so concerned parents sent me instead to Christian summer camp, where my father made it clearJesus would take a very dim view if I escaped... and so I remained, memorizing more Bible versesthan anyone. It was not because they were the sacred sentiments of my ancestors... but becausewinning was better than losing, a sentiment I adhere to to this very hour... and which makes forcedidleness, even for recreation and "fun" abhorrent to me... and frightening. Without the incessantlabor epitomized by my forefathers, I should be utterly lost, without anchor, in a universe thatfrightens anyone with a lick of sense, and that I surely have.Music. It is now time to introduce you to the music that accompanies this article. There are hundredsof songs about summer that make us want to join the chorus and belt out a happy tune. But the Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 19 of 22
  20. 20. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!"Theme from A Summer Place" is so very right for the honor. It was written for the 1959 film, lyricsby Mack Discant, music by Max Steiner. Many people had a hand in the success of this littlenumber, which was so simple as to be inane. Yet Percy Faith (so aptly named) turned it, hisinstrumental version, into the number-one tune on the "Billboard" top singles chart in 1960; its runof nine consecutive weeks in the top position remains the all-time record.But it is the version by "The Lettermen" which causes us to stop, hear again, and somewhatremember and mumble the insipid lyrics that still tug at my heart as if I were 13 or so, an epoch asdistant from me and my current circumstances than if warbled by Queen Victoria. We believed thewinsome lyrics then, and a part of us believes them still:"Theres a summer place/ Where it may rain or storm/ Yet Im safe and warm/ For within thatsummer place/ Your arms reach out to me/ And my heart is free from all care/ Go now to any searchengine, and you will find it in its many versions, testament to the fact that it tugged at many hearts...and in our turbulent world still has its undeniable allure.Summer People, Summer Place.Until my fathers annual vacation came, summer did not call us away from home. Except for onegreat aunt or cousin, we knew no one with a summer place. Hers, in approved Midwestern fashion,was at "the lake". One never said which lake, and it would have been mal vu to ask. The right peopleknew, and that was sufficient.Instead, we used the pool in our shaded backyard or the municipal pool which was more likely to bein Naperville (where my mothers older brother resided with his unloved Ultramontane wife Marce)than in Downers Grove where we lived. The water at Naperville was a shade of khaki I have neverseen again and tasted of unwashed immigrants and people one was not encouraged to meet, muchless befriend. It was, however, not merely acceptable but crucial to our way of life to share suchmunicipal services. It made us the Good Citizens we purported to be.Dog Days.All this came home to me yesterday as I walked through the dried grass of the Cambridge Common,for the Dog Days of August, dies caniculares, are always days of remembrance, days slow, hot, andlazy that are so perfect you know they will not last. And so even before they are gone, we beginrecalling them as so much ancient history. And that is just what I was doing, moving slower thanmy wont, forced by the heat to give up speed and see everything before it, too, was gone.In this spirit, I saw a young man and his girl immobile under the great maples, still for a few weeksverdant, not yet a riot of inimitable color. They were bedraggled, wan, vying to be the unhappiest,either because she had now discovered the limitations of her adolescent love or because he not onlyknew these limitations but knew she knew them.Almost in unison they piped up out of their lethargy and called for my attention. I was recalled toreality and that meant The Touch, the God-given right of the down-and-out of every place and time.Could they have a dollar? I was senior, I was well stocked with lifes benefits... I could afford tospend the time, my attention, and a small act of unexpected kindness. "Why do you need it?" "To gohome." "And where is that?" God supplied the answer, "Providence." It is the place we all want togo, and I was being asked to expedite their passage. And I did.I took $20 from my pocket and handed it over, pausing for just a minute to capture them in myeternal eye, so young, dazed, but given a happiness the three of us would long remember. Theirthanks and "God-bless yous" were fervent, excessive.Before I left, I told them about Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643), one of historys most important Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 20 of 22
  21. 21. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!women, sometime resident of Cambridge. Hair-splitting doctrinal differences caused her separationfrom the Puritan establishment of the town they raised as the center of their theology. "My way orthe highway" was their solution to problems like this popular woman of heresy and schism, for allthat there was no highway, scarcely a path in the woods.Undaunted, Mistress Hutchinson knew God would assist her... and so He did, for she, banished fromthe Puritans utopia, found instead a place of Gods beneficence, a place called Providence. Now myyoung friends were going there, going home, and so was I, each step taking us closer to ourdestination, as resolute, determined and confident as Anne Hutchinson, who along with theReverends Roger Williams (1604-1684) and Thomas Hooker, (1586-1647), (whose plaque on theMassachusetts Avenue side of the Common is so often obscured by bushes), helped shape theconscience and tolerance of a great nation which has never stopped needing their humanity andempathy."For it knows, there are no gloomy skies/ When seen through the eyes/ Of those who are blessed bylove/" Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 21 of 22
  22. 22. Hurricane "Sandy" - The Waves of Wrath!ResourceAbout the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. providing a widerange of online services for small and-home based businesses. He is also the author of 18 best-sellingbusiness books.Republished with authors permission by Lance Sumner Copyright Lance Sumner - 2012 22 of 22