A hurricane and farewell to Winston Groom

September 17, 2020


Winston Groom and Leslie Anne Tarabella - Fairhope Alabama
Winston Groom talking with me at an event a few years ago.

We just received word today that one of our local favorite authors in Fairhope, Winston Groom has passed away. I don’t know any details, but he will be missed. He always took time to talk with me when we saw each other, although I always felt like I needed to remind him who I was. The last time I saw him I said hello and added, “I’m Leslie Anne Tarabella. I write for AL.com newspapers.” He laughed and kidded me, “We still have newspapers around here?” He thought it was so funny, he repeated it to someone standing next to us. — What a story teller he was. Not just Forrest Gump, but his entire collection of historic novels. He was an amazing talent.

Hurricane Sally Fairhope Alabama - Leslie Anne Tarabella
Hurricane Sally’s work in my backyard.

And if you don’t live in South Alabama, here’s what we’ve been doing for the past few days.. Hurricane Sally, predicted to be only a Tropical Storm, blew in Tuesday night as a Category 2 (although I think it looks more like a CAT 3) storm. Huge trees are down all over town and every one of the large trees in my yard is gone. Power has been out for several days.

my backyard

I hope this 10 second video works for you. It is a view of my backyard, but it’s like this all over town. You can see one giant tree fell in my swimming pool. No telling what kind of damage that will leave when it’s pulled out tomorrow.

Awake since 3am, soaking wet in the rain but celebrating the very happiest of happy hours.

I’m only able to post this message because my genius husband figured out a way to connect an extension cord to his Jeep and run the refrigerator and high speed internet every now and then. We still don’t have air-conditioning, but I can cook on a gas stove so we’re good. We’ll be able to watch a movie on the iPad tonight. – LUXURIOUS! I’ve actually been cooking up a storm so food doesn’t go to waste.

Hurricane Sally Fairhope Alabama 2020 - Leslie Anne Tarabella
Do you remember the song, “Deep and Wide?” These roots were wide, but not very deep. There was wisdom in that Sunday school song!

Hurricanes are part of life when you live along the Gulf Coast, but honestly, I’ve never seen one sneak up on us like this one. I partially blame the local meteorologists for crying wolf for years and scaring everyone to death over small tropical storms, then turning around and saying this would also be a tropical storm. No one adequately prepared for this because we knew the media makes a big stinking deal over nothing. No one bought ice, or gas for their chain saws, no one boarded up their windows. Now there are lines forming all over town for all the essentials. Ice is gold.

Everything’s a mess, my house is a wreck with mud being tracked in by our dog Doug – who ran straight to the bed with the white bedspread. All of our towels were used to soak up rain being pushed in the North facing windows, so I’m looking forward to having electricity for a washing machine. Everything is hot and muggy, but guess what . . . we’re safe, healthy and completely blessed. What more could you want in life? (trees).

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