40 Years Ago Today
There have been a lot of stories on the news about how this is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. I must admit that I was a bit of a Woodstock junkie when I was back in college. My roommate loved 60's music and his tastes rubbed off on me (just like my more new-wave tastes rubbed off on him.) They showed the Woodstock documentary on campus and I was blown away. The whole thing with the drugs and the naked hippies and the mud and, of course, the music was just so cool to me. I would get a small taste of what a music festival like that could be when I attended the first Farm Aid concert a couple of years later. I decided that it would be cool to find copies of the New York Times from the Woodstock days. Our library had a huge microfilm collection of newspapers, so I found the ones from August of 1969 and made copies. While the front page of the Times was dominated by the story of the concert, up in the corner was a little story about Hurricane Camille getting ready to hit the Gulf coast. Who could have imagined what a huge story that would become.
In the history of hurricanes in the US there are 3 big names; Katrina, Andrew, and Camille. Of course there was the one that hit Galveston which is still the greatest natural disaster to ever hit the US, but I'm talking about the modern era of hurricane study with hunter planes and satellites. Think of all the advanced warning we have today. Even just 50-60 years ago the only reliable predictor was a rapidly falling barometer and maybe some ship reports. Camille was famous because her winds approached 200 MPH. She hit the same area that Katrina did. Hydrologically it was a fascinating storm because the remnants caused devastating floods in Virgina which killed just as many people, if not more, than were killed on the coast. Here is a government documentary that was made a few years after the storm. Yes, it's the same cheezy type of film that you watched when you were in grade school, but it does provide a good history of the storm.
The film contains 2 classic moments. 1 is a cow standing in the middle of a road as the storm rages and the other is the woman flipping out when she finds what's left of her house (at about 9:50). Yeah. It's 27 minutes long, so watch it when you have the time.
The other thing you'll take away from the film is that all of those places that were destroyed in '69 were leveled again in '05. People were actually cheering Tricky Dick when he visited the disaster area. I don't thing the same thing could have been said about Shrubya.