Hurricane Alicia – Phase 1

The late summer of 1983 found Randy and I “batchin” it. He would attend Texas A & M University within the month. Brad was living with his cousin. I was single again and worst of all, while attending a special class for high performers at Harvard University in Mass, an old football injury had turned bad and my left knee was locked tight as a drum!

As soon as I got home I had an appointment with a Doc and he tells me “Your knee is locked up.” Wow, what news. He feels around and takes an X-Ray, this was before MRI’s and says, “Yes, it’s locked up and I think it is the cartilage. Can you be available for surgery tomorrow afternoon?” Since I can’t straighten out my leg and have trouble moving around, I readily agree. One small problem, there is a Class 3, hurricane, Hurricane Alicia, taking direct aim on Galveston Island. I’ll be in the hospital when it hits and it will probably ruin my fishing tackle, boat and “our” beach house, but I have no choice.

As “Alicia” bores down on us, I check into the hospital and the Docs start getting me ready for the surgery, arthoscopic, no knives, but still a relatively new procedure and I will stay in the hospital tonight and be released tomorrow morning.

As they wheel me in to the operating room, I look up and see the Docs and Nurses with their reflectors on and I quip, “All of you all have on your carbon headlamps, the hurricane must be close.” Laughter all around and then the Doc says, “Start the IV. Jon, count down from ten.” I laughingly say “Ten, nine, eight.”

The surgery was successful, and the first thing I remember coming out of the anesthesia are visitors laughing at me. I don’t need this and go back to sleep. Right at closing time my sister, H.R., shows up with a very large, even for her, handbag. Opening it up she proudly displays a bottle of Champagne to celebrate my successful surgery. We celebrate it properly, she leaves and I go back to sleep.

The Doc shows up early the next morning and says he cleaned up the knee and I should be back playing softball in three weeks. Pointing out of my window he states “You will be laid up for a couple of days, so I’m prescribing that you remain in the hospital the next 2 days and let the hurricane pass.”

As I take a prescribed sleeping pill that night, the storm is beginning to rage outside and it is howling. Before I go to sleep, I call Brad and tell him that I will need to get down to Bayou Vista day after tomorrow to check on the damage and for him to get some guys together in case we need to do some “heavy lifting”.

Waking up and looking out of my window, I see the rain in the corner of the building is raining upwards and the trees are bending nearly double big wind! It blows for another hour and then it stops. Dead calm, the eye is passing right over us. The last time I was in an “eye” was in 1941 in West University. The wind picks back up as the hurricane moves northwest.

The aftermath of Hurricane Alicia follows.