14 DEC 09: Six-Foot-Two, Wet Are You
When I awakened in bed around 6:30 Sunday morning, the rain was falling. That wasn't really a surprise. The surprise was that I woke up -- because isn't rain supposed to help you sleep?
When I officially began the day around 9:00 a.m., the rain was still falling. It made me wonder if Sunday would be like Saturday -- dark enough that I almost didn't mind people hanging colorful lights outside their homes. Those people apparently haven't studied the "carbon footprint" research from that conference in Copenhagen.
The weekend rain gave Columbus a new record - the wettest year in the city's history. WTVM reported as of Sunday afternoon, we've had 74.77 inches of rain in 2009. That's more than six feet of moisture - which I doubt even Columbus State basketball players that tall can produce in sweat.
The rainfall total in Columbus this year is now about 30 inches above average. This ought to benefit local shoppers sooner or later - yet I haven't heard of any discount prices for Callaway Blue bottled water.
So what's changed from a couple of years ago, when fountains were turned off across the "Fountain City" due to drought? Local weather experts put the source in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - a change in weather patterns from "El Niño." I'm a bit surprised Derek Kinkade hasn't claimed it for himself, as El NINE-o.
About three inches of rain fell on Columbus over the weekend - apparently not enough to cause flood damage, but enough to leave puddles on sidewalks all over town. Trouble was, no children were outside to jump in them and clear a path for me.
The December rain has been more than some trees can handle. A LaGrange woman told me over the weekend about a tree that fell onto her house, during last Wednesday's early-morning storm. She says the deck on top of her home "now has a sunroof." Now if the sun would stay out awhile to confirm that....
The good news is that by 11:00 a.m. Sunday, the rain had stopped in my neighborhood. It remained that way for the rest of the day, which allowed me to get outside for some exercise. And even better - I was able to hang a sweater along a fence for about 30 minutes, without a single rust stain forming on it.
The bad news is that another rainy day is expected Tuesday, to add to our record year. But in the meantime, you can prepare for that by telling your friends it's been SO WET....
+ The "red hat ladies" plan to buy red parasols as a backup plan.
+ Supporters of a Columbus natatorium may give up on the city building them one, and simply dig up a carport.
+ The developers of Columbus Park Crossing could begin looking for a giant retractable roof.
+ The "dry counties" in Alabama are getting the message, and could start serving alcohol.
+ A special Ossahatchie pow-wow could be convened in Harris County, to have all members dance in reverse.
+ The next Leadoff Classic softball tournament might be sponsored by Action Buildings - with games inside some of them.
+ Kayaking in the Chattahoochee River will be out - while high diving into the river from the Chattahoochee Promenade will be in.
+ Churches divided about the proper form of baptism will gather at Lake Oliver, and decide they're covered either way.
(BLOGGER'S NOTE: The jokes for today are concluded - but you're welcome to read on, for details on some news we apparently were first to post online Sunday afternoon.)
BUT SERIOUSLY: We received word Sunday of two notable deaths. Author Cilla McCain informed us Lanny Davis died in the early morning, several weeks after we learned he developed lung cancer [8 Nov]. He was the father of Fort Benning soldier Richard Davis, whose murder has been the subject of everything from magazine articles to the movie "In the Valley of Elah."
Cilla McCain has taken a personal interest in the family, as she's written a book on the Richard Davis case. "Murder in Baker Company" is scheduled for release in February. She told us in 2006 it didn't seem right for no one to receive a death sentence for Davis's killing [15 Sep 06].
We've documented the trials of Lanny Davis often in this blog. He came to Columbus several times after the 2003 killing, making a personal appeal to the District Attorney for the remains of his son [15 Mar 07 and 20 Apr 07]. He and his wife created the Richard Davis Foundation for Peace (where we found this photo), which wants to build an Iraqi War Memorial in the Columbus area.
The second death Sunday was a historic name in Columbus television. Penny Leigh died at St. Francis Hospital - the woman who gained fame as a weathercaster on WTVM and WLTZ. She used the married name Penny Leigh Short, when she worked in television sales with WRBL and advertising with Jay Auto Mall.
I never saw Penny Leigh on television, except for reunion events. But if she was able to stay on the air in Columbus for several decades, she must have gained a following. And unlike many TV personalities these days, Leigh liked Columbus enough to remain to the end.
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