Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter in S.C.: Snow, earthquake - cue the locusts.

Two winter storms and now an earthquake remind me of 1986 in Dayton, Ohio, when I was AP correspondent there.

For several days a chemical-filled train that had derailed burned in nearby Miamisburg, throwing a cloud of smoke filled with who-knew-what (authorities certainly weren't sure) over the area and leading to one of the largest U.S. evacuations related to a train accident.

I had the job of covering it - more than 72 hours straight. I'd managed to get inside the police lines and to the warehouse about a quarter mile away that they had set up as a command post. The surrounding area had turned into a ghost town.

That same week, in golf, the Women's Open was being played at the NCR Country Club. It was touch and go as they kept a wary eye on the cloud. It was also brutally hot.

And then came monsoons. All in all, a fine week.

So there I was (having finally gotten a few hours' sleep) in the AP cubicle in the old Dayton Daily News building pounding out the requisite Sunday recap/thumbsucker, having just read a lede about the golf tourney in (I think it was) the Boston Globe that went something (as best as I can remember it): "We've had the fire. We've had the flood. Now all we need is the earthquake."

Sure enough, as I'm sitting there, a mag 3 or so temblor hits.

I swore, if I ever met that writer, I would throttle him.

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