The following story is not about a storm, or dramatic weather event that I was involved in, but is about the results of a severe low pressure, system, rainstorm, that struck the upper Gulf coast in 1980.
Bob Baugh had been the first customer I had met when I returned to Houston. On my first meeting with him, I happened to have a picture of the twelve-pound bass I had recently caught which I promptly pulled out and showed to him. He responded by producing a picture of a six hundred pound blue marlin he had just caught.
Shortly after our first meeting, we had Bob and his wife over for dinner and were enjoying a pleasant evening, when the phone rang and it was my son, Randy, calling to let me know he was going to be late for supper, and, and, that he was stuck on our new duck and goose lease and needed help extricating the truck.
Part of the reason he was calling had been caused by a low pressure, system that came ashore between Galveston and Freeport, Texas, hesitated over Alvin and dumped over 24” of rain in a 24 hour, period. This remains a contiguous states record for a 24 hour, period! The low pressure, system also soaked the Katy Prairie, any dirt road travel was limited and additional rains kept the roads “sticky” for a month or more.
The other reason the truck was stuck was because he and his friend Doug would try to see how much mud it would take to get stuck in. Most cases Doug would have his truck and they would alternate pulling each other out of the mire. Not this time because he and Doug had taken advantage of the duck season opener and gone hunting together in my truck!
Randy told me where he was stuck and the call ended. I sat down and filled Bob in on the details and he said, “Let’s go get him!”
We loaded up in Bob’s 4WD, truck and headed out for the short drive to the new lease. Waiting for us at the main entrance was Randy. He and Doug had found the rice farmer and he had pulled them out with his tractor.
Randy, Doug and the new truck were safe and we didn’t have to wade in the mud to get them out. Our evening was interrupted but Bob’s and my friendship was sealed and lasts till this day!
One more note about Randy and Doug. The owner of the local car wash, a nice man and a Deacon in the Baptist Church that we attended, banned both boys from using his facility to wash their trucks because of all the mud they collected. He said that he knew when they had been there because his main drain was always stopped up, with mud, of course!