HURRICANE! I got on the wrong train ...

... hanging onto telephone poles for dear life ...

David Moreland

My graduation from High School was June 1937. The first day at Thayer Academy, South Braintree was on September 21. Trains ran from the South Station, Boston to Cohasset to the Irish Riviera, Brant Rock. Another RR line ran from Boston to Plymouth, and the one I should have taken ran from South Station to Middleboro on the Old Colony Line.

I got on the wrong train and had to walk from Whitman to Brockton - a distance of four miles the way the crow would fly in a high wind. Speed of walking was strangely impaired and headway was slow. Everything around me that was not nailed down was flying around and coming down. There were trees, tel and tel poles, signs and, above all, sparking wires.

After some hours and hugging telephone poles and anything else I could hang onto, I arrived at more devastation around our street and house. One large maple lay across the driveway. We did not have chain saws in those days only buck saws and axes. But it was no time to clean debris and the storm continued into the night after, we learned later, the eye had passed. Everybody hunkered down. We had blinds on the house and with much frustration secured them so the windows did not blow in. At that time we had Atwater-Kent radios and we had a battery run Stromberg Carlson. The lights had long decided to go out, but the radio gave us source of information. The weathermen were bewildered as to what the weather was about. They soon learned. Never since 1882 was there such a hurricane. (And we all remember that one)?

After last Wednesday's meeting of the Stringers on the 9th, Channel Five aired STORMS OF THE CENTURY and gave still pictures of the 1882 hurrricane as well as the 1938 one with many films of shore line erosion and houses dumped into the sea. The documentary gave excellent views of Providence and the devastation of buildings and people. The next "biggy" is supposed to wipe out Manhattan. CHEERS!

September 1, 2000

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