Thursday, March 29, 2007

When Gary Speaks - Oklahoma Listens

No, no, I'm not talking about Gary Sinise,
although he is handsome, intelligent, probably knows what he's talking about in most cases, but if Gary Sinise were to tell me to get underground because of a tornado - I would probably want to double check that intel with the OTHER Gary in my life - Mr. Gary England!

For many years (sorry Gary, we're all getting older buddy) Gary England has been the best meterologist in the world - I said it, I meant it, THE WORLD. No one can stand up to the man - no one. His word is gold - platinum! When the clouds lower, winds steady, and the sun begins to rise when it's been out of sight all day - we turn the television on to CBS-TV station KWTV-Channel 9, because 9 times out of 10 Gary England isn't in his usual silly antics mood - he's seriously staring at the kids who may be watching TV whose parents haven't come home from work yet - he's telling them where to go, what to do, and how to do it. He warns them about being near glass, he instructs them to get out their battery operated flashlights and radios, to get underground if they can, or in a bathroom without mirrors or glass.

Most tornadoes hit between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. due to the perfect storm patterns of the time of day - the sun setting, the jet stream, all that has to be in place - and Gary knows EXACTLY when that is - every kid in the state of Oklahoma knows who Gary England is, and every adult makes sure their kids know EXACTLY how to find Gary's face when storms hit - like they have so many Spring afternoons in Oklahoma.

May 3, 1999 - We experienced a killing F6 tornado - the largest EVER recorded. It hit between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.

May 9, 2001 and May 10, 2001 - F3 and F4 respectively - again, hitting in the late afternoon and early evening hours as parents rushed home to secure their families.

April 9, 2003 - a series of tornadoes blew through for hours and hours

Yesterday and today - 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lives lost, damaged property, one of the twisters in Beaver, OK was the width of 2 football fields - it was only an F2. Can you imagine?

We were told as kids that tornadoes would never go above the Denver area, but that's changed - the world is now experiencing tornadoes in the strangest of places - If I had one wish, it wouldn't be for world peace because that just can't exist -- I would wish for 100 Gary Englands to be distributed throughout the world - and he'd speak every language, and he would have the ears and eyes of every child, every adult - because people - he's THAT needed. Thank you Gary! Thanks to every one of the meterologists out there working in the storms - chasing the monsters, getting the footage, and recording the news - we need, and we love you!

Keep the Spirit of Oklahoma - ALIVE!

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