This is the worst year of the millenium.

2020--it’s time for you to hit the road Jack. Don’t come ‘round here no more no more.

First came the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

Then came the murder of George Floyd, which has unleashed a torrent of anger and outrage.

Now, there is Hannah. Let’s hope she doesn’t have any sisters.

This has got to be one of the worst years in recent history. From pandemic to protests and riots to Mother Nature blessing us with her latest bout of PMS.

Enough is enough already.

But let’s talk about ‘ol Hannah and her witchy ways this past weekend.

The weekend was supposed  to be a good one for yours truly, highlighted by the first round of golf I would have played in Kingsville. I have not played since the summer of 2012, when cancer hit and took up the next four years of my life. So when my buddy Dick Messbarger suggested we hit the pill on Friday morning, I immediately accepted with the caveat/warning that I had not played in eight years. Dick then invited Chamber Executive Director Manny Salazar to join us, and it looked like a good pairing. 

I called Manny and asked him how good he was and his response was not fit for publication in a family newspaper. Manny said he had never played before and was anxious about how he would do on the course. I told him I hadn’t hit a golf ball in eight years, and he just laughed and said, well, to paraphrase,it wasn’t go to smell to good on the golf course.

Then came Thursday.

Rumors of a tropical depression started appearing, and by the end of the day it was clear we might be in the eye of a tropical storm. By the end of the day, it was definite: Tropical Storm Hannah was headed this way.

I decided not to panic, went to Wal-Mart, and bought a dozen golf balls. I went back to the motorhome, turned on the Weather Channel, then got the sobering news.

Tropical Depression Eight was now Tropical Storm Hannah, and it was headed directly our way. Winds were forecast to be in the high 55 to 73 mile an hour range on Saturday, and that’s when it happened: the brave editor and publisher became the Coward of the County.

I live in a motor home for the time being, and I realized high winds might cause some damage to my domicile. I googled RVs and found out wind velocities and RVs are okay, as long as they are not over 73 miles per hour. That’s when I made the decision: I was going to have fold up shop and get the bus out of harm’s way.

For a newspaper man of 36 years of experience, the decision to move the bus was a wrenching one. A huge storm was coming our way, and it is our sworn obligation and duty to cover these events and report them to the community. That is who we are and what we do. It looked like I was going to have to leave--I was mad and chagrined.

On Friday morning, I was up before the dawn, stowed everything I could, unhooked the plugs and tubes, and fired ol Bessie up. I drove it to the paper, did some work, issued instructions, and took one final look at the weather. I called a buddy of mine at the weather service and he said “Terry, I don’t want to be the one to break this to you but this is going to be a hurricane by the time it hits land.” That’s when all the bravery and courage left. I slunk away like the Coward of the County. I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed and disgusted I was with myself.

But thanks to an Almighty Providence, I did my work from afar. stayed in touch with my team, and we all survived, and so did Kingsville. 

A big thanks and job well done to all the first responders who put their life on the line for all of us. For all the city and county workers, medical and health services--well done Kleberg County. I hope the good folks of Riviera, Ricardo and points south are all doing better today.

While everyone was fine and there were no deaths, I did have one pratfall. 

While driving the motor home back to the RV park, it just suddenly died. No juice, no anything. I had lost the starter. Two weeks I put $2,500 into the air conditioning. Now this. Anyone want to buy a motor home?

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