Cleanup After Hurricane Helena II

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Another gorgeous day here in the mountains. Wet weather is supposed to enter the area this weekend. If it’s part of the storm system that is currently ravaging the Southwest, I hope it is greatly diminished by the time it arrives.

The city of Shreveport, Louisiana has received a foot of rain in the last twenty fours, with another half foot on the way. Dallas, Texas is reporting seventy mile an hour winds with sporadic tornadoes springing up. I’d hate for us get caught by a bunch of high wind events that would have been confined to their rightful place in Tornado Alley, if not for global warming. Of course my fears are assuaged by the knowledge that Channel 11’s crack group of “storm trackers” are on the scene.

Now, the Channel 11 Storm Trackers are not like the folks we are used to seeing in movies like “Twister”. Unlike real storm trackers, who use sophisticated equipment with specially equipped vehicles, Channel 11’s Storm Trackers are armed only with their cell phone. Channel 11’s Storm Trackers go boldly onto their back porch, or into their front yard, and snap pictures of the current weather conditions to forward back to Channel 11. Channel 11 is then able to broadcast the photos on their news shows as proudly as if they had sent a meteorologist with a camera truck to the scene.

Softball sized hail? Snap a pic. Trees toppled by wind shears? Show me the snapshot. Tornado traveling up Highway 19? Get in your Toyota and set your smart phone on video. Get Channel 11 a good picture and you’ll receive instant fame by having their meteorologist mention your name on the air. Be careful though. Any footage taken that results in the storm tracker being killed will be disavowed. It’s nothing personal though. It’s just under the advise of counsel that Channel 11 can’t be perceived as encouraging folks to put themselves in a dangerous position. A position that they aren’t actually trained for, or employed to do. Otherwise, snap away. Be sure to include your name with your contributions. Hopefully they’ll it pronounce right.

Speaking of names, I need to pick up the story of my visit to the new home of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. Well, we rolled up to the church and I was struck by mixed feelings. Sort of like being in a crosswind. One second you’re thinking, “wow, that’s an impressive bit of architecture”, to, “that’s like the coldest most sterile building I believe I’ve ever seen”. It’s impressive, it’s glass. The pieces that aren’t glass are white, so you have this feeling of purity. Which, I guess is the vibe a church wants to give off. No chance the “Crystal Palace” is going to be mistaken for Blairsville’s new hot spot for exotic dance. It was very clearly designed to give the impression that the folks who go to church there are reaching for the heavens with the church’s many spires. I resisted the temptation to get closer to the “Pearly Gates” by climbing the eight stories of the bell tower, which is housed in the main spire. Eight flights of stairs just might send me to my final reward.

Let me tell you about the interior. It is splendiferous. Everything is freshly painted, with what I suspect, is multiple coats of paint. The floor is covered in a very deep pile red carpet. The red is more blood red than UGA red, but I’ll try to not let that prejudice my view. White paint covers the walls and the sides of the pews. The mahogany pews are covered with a long bench cushion covered in red fabric matching the carpet. The red theme carries on to the altar where the stage curtains are a matching red velvet, trimmed in gold. The podium is also trimmed in red fabric with what I believe is something of a cross between a serpent and a fish outlined in gold on the fabric. I’ll try to ascertain exactly what the animal is later. For sure, it’s not Old Ben.

The stage was outfitted like it was going to host U2. Cameras everywhere. Microphones and amplifiers everywhere. I made the comment that, “the only thing missing was a smoke machine”, which was met by Mulva’s number six stare. The number ten stare melts pig iron.

Anyway, the tour was quickly concluded after that. I think Mulva was fearful of errant lightning bolts and didn’t want to be a part of the destruction of the newly commissioned church. We scooted out of the parking lot and lunched at the IHOP. It’s “all you can eat pancake week”, and there’s no way I don’t come out ahead on that deal. Over my third plate, I asked Mulva, “I have just one question, what are they going to call the new church?” To me, the “Crystal Palace” seem disrespectful, if not degrading. Mulva did her hem and haw again, and I knew I had pried into “church business”. No matter. The first services are next Sunday, I can wait.

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