To Hattiesburg and Back
Dad and I left the house at 10 this morning to go to Hattiesburg this morning for the Conference USA baseball championship game versus TCU. There were heavy clouds between New Orleans and Mississippi. As we approached Slidell, we encountered some pretty fierce rain. We rove through that for what must have been 45 minutes until we hit a pretty sharp barrier. Instantly, there was no more rain and the roads were dry. We reached Hattiesburg shortly after noon. We got a parking spot close by the stadium and ate some food we brought with us. After that we walked to the stadium. A rain delay had already been called when we got there. We went inside. Dad spoke with some ushers he acquainted himself with in the last couple days of the tournament. Shortly after walking in, it was announced that RADAR indicated severe weather approaching and patrons should “calmly take shelter.” I guess they were serious because the metal construction of the stadium made it one behemoth of a lightning rod. We left the stadium and went to Applebee’s, where we were to meet up with a couple friends of Dad’s. We got there just before it started raining hard, sideways. There was even a bit of hail. We sat at the bar, got a drink and waited for dad’s friends to arrive. I was about halfway through my first drink when the power failed with quite a bang. Supposedly, lightning struck a power line or transformer a stone’s throw from the restaurant. I didn’t see the lightning, but I did see the rather impressive light show coming off the power lines. Along with a heavy dose of sparks, there was what I can only describe as moving balls of plasma or electricity that moved down the power line towards the restaurant. This unusual phenomenon occurred four times, one after the other. Even after seeing my share of tornado specials on the Discovery Channel, I’d still never seen anything like it. We remained at in the dark at Applebee’s for a little while afterwards. I got another drink and sat with Dad and his friends after they arrived. We left at 1:45 to go back to the stadium to see if there was ay word on whether there would be a game today. We were at the stadium for about an hour. I sat in the car while Dad walked around or whatever. Bianca called me about a computer problem while we were waiting. Word came that the game was cancelled and TCU and Tulane would be co-champions of Conference USA. That being the case, we just went back home. There was more rain on the return trip. I wasn’t too back during the first hour of the ride but it was heavy for a good part of the way. I didn’t do too much this evening outside of playing a game on the computer.