Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maine Minutiae : My Name is Earl

Have You Seen This Hurricane ?

Yesterday we talked about the eminent approach of autumn in Maine. I had no sooner hit the "publish" button on the blog dashboard, when I checked the weather for our area and found out that Hurricane Earl was going to be moving up the East Coast beginning some time Thursday. On July 16, when I wrote this, I thought, "Yeah, right. It'll be a cold day in hell when a Hurricane hits Maine again any time soon." Guess what? Satan is wearing a sweater right now, because there is a decent possibility that Hurricane Earl could brush the southeastern and eastern part of the state Friday night into Saturday morning. That "strike zone" includes Augusta, where I live. Admittedly, if Earl does pay us a visit, we'll more than likely get the outer bands of the storm. But still, it could impact me, my family and neighbors with heavy rain, tornadoes, flooding, power outages and so on. I am not really worried yet though, today is only Tuesday, so we've still got a bit of wiggle room to work with. I'll keep my eye on the weather over the next couple of days in order to do whatever we need to do to be prepared in case Earl slams us. It's kind of weird, though, I was talking to a neighbor earlier today about winter and now we (you and I) are considering how we (my family) could be affected by a hurricane this weekend. I suppose I'll go check the latest storm path info on various weather sites I know to what's shakin'. And maybe read a do-it-yourself ark-building book, the Bible. Does anyone know how to convert "cubits" to "feet"?

Texas Tidbits : Remember Goliad!

When the subject of  Texas' war for independence from Mexico is brought up, people reflexively conjure up thoughts of the Alamo, myself included. This is as it should be, for one of the most famous battles in the history of warfare. When an event of the magnitude of the Battle of the Alamo happens, it becomes a hallmark of a larger series of events that define history, in this case the Texas Revolution. My question is : what major event preceded the Battle of the Alamo that made it of such import? Answer : The Goliad Massacre . The skinny : Colonel James Fannin and his force of 350 men had engaged the 900 man army of Mexican General Urrea near Goliad . Fannin lost about 20% of his men in the battle and concluded that surrender  - his men had no water or supplies - was his best option.  He signed a surrender deal with General Urrea and Fannin's men were marched back to Goliad and held captive, and under Urrea's orders were to be treated humanely. That was the case until Mexican General Santa Ana heard about it and overrode Urrea's order and declared that all prisoners would be executed immediately. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, Fannin and his men were divided into groups and marched out of Goliad in different directions and brutally slaughtered.  As the news of this mass murder spread like a Texas wildfire, the citizenry of Texas were enraged that such a horrific thing could happen, especially after Fannin and his men were promised that they would be treated humanely upon surrender. Texians, as the people of Texas were called at the time, were both appalled and inspired at the same time by this turn of events. And the rest, as it said, is history. Santa Ana was victorious at the Alamo, then promptly got his bloodthirsty ass handed to him at San Jacinto.  While Goliad will always take a back seat to the Alamo in terms of history, come next March 27, hold a moment of remembrance for 350 Texians, our forbears, who, like the brave men at the Alamo, gave their lives so that today, Texans can live in free of tyranny. We owe them that much. Remember the Alamo! But also, Remember Goliad!

Photo from scrapperguide.com

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker