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  Texas : Features : Columns : N. Ray Maxie :
The Unforgettable Lightening Bolt
Page 2

by N. Ray Maxie

Page 1
On that particular day in 1947, my dad and I were about three miles from the Bivins post office. The previous night had seen a big cold front pass through the area and there had been severe thunderstorms with gigantic displays of lightening. As dad drove toward Bivins from Huffines that morning, we looked to the right, out across a big cow pasture. Out there we saw the remains of a very large old two-story farmhouse. My dad pulled over to the roadside, as we stopped for a while to look at the wreckage. A massive lightening bolt had caused more damage and destruction than I, in my lifetime, have ever seen from lightening. Boards, splinters, sheet metal tin and rock from the fireplace were scattered all over that pasture. And, I mean it was scattered. The debris must have covered 3 or 4 acres. The house was leveled to the ground and strewn widely about the area by the Herculean lightening strike. Throughout my years, I have seen many, many trees damaged, or killed by lightening, but never a house like that. The old house obviously did not have any lightening rods.

We were told at the post office that the occupants of that old house had become frightened during the storm and had wisely evacuated to their underground storm cellar. They were all safe and sound, having surfaced after the storm had passed. Everyone had remained unscathed during that horrible devastation. They, like many other people in our area back then, from fear of sever weather, had wisely constructed storm cellars in their back yard.

After picking up our baby chicks, we returned home and described to my mother what we had just seen. Being extremely afraid of lightening, she was really interested and appalled. Mother already had the brooder house prepared with every necessity for me to start raising those little Rhode Island Reds. With adequate care and a little luck, in about six to eight weeks, we would have plenty of mom's good southern fried chicken on the table. Not the skinless, boneless kind from the modern up-town super-market. It hadn't been invented yet. And, not the bucket full from KFC, but believe me, it was ever so delicately delicious just the same.
N. Ray Maxie
piddlinacres@consolidated.net
"Ramblin' Ray"
September 15, 2005
 
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