Kids and Storms

This is from ‘Isaac’s Storm, The Drowning of Galveston 8 September 1900’ by Erik Larson:

“Children found the storm nothing but delightful. Henry C. Cortes of Houston was 8 years old when he came to Galveston on Saturday, September 8. Early that morning his father made the impulsive decision to take the family to visit Grandmother Cortes on her birthday…. when he reached his grandmother’s house around lunchtime he found the yard under two and a half feet of water. ‘Even so, … the neighbouring kids were out playing in washtubs or homemade rafts.’

Throughout the city, children danced in the waters, built rafts, teased pets into leaping off porches. They converged on the beach. The surf rocketing into the sky off the streetcar trestle was easily as good as a fireworks display. That morning Mrs Charles Vidor got a call from her cousin, excitedly telling her of the marvelous sights and urging her to bring her son down for a look. The boy had he lofty name of King.. Later, after he had become one of Hollywood’s most important directors, King Vidor wrote a fictional account of a hurricane for Esquire magazine grounded on his experience in Galveston. ‘I remember now that it seemed as if we were in a bowl looking up toward the level of the sea. As we stood there in the sandy street, my mother and I, I wanted to take my mother’s hand and hurry her away. I felt as if the sea was going to break over the edge of the bowl and come pouring down upon us.’


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