Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm just sayin'.......

The pre-weather news blitz for our much predicted winter storm has brought to mind a favorite essay of mine by E.B. White written in 1954, entitled, "The Eye of Edna".

"It became evident to me after a few fast rounds with the radio that the broadcasters had opened up on Edna awfully far in advance, before she had come out of her corner, and were spending themselves at a reckless rate. During the morning hours, they were having a tough time keeping Edna going at the velocity demanded of emergency broadcasting. I heard one fellow from, I think, Riverhead, Long Island, interviewing his out-of-doors man, who had been sent abroad in a car to look over conditions on the eastern end of the island.
'How wet would you say the roads were?" asked the tense voice.
'They were wet,' replied the reporter, who seemed to be in a sulk.
'Would you say the spray from the puddles was dashing up around the mudguards?' inquired the desperate radioman.
'Yeah,' replied the reporter.
It was one of those confused moments, emotionally, when the listener could not be quite sure what position radio was taking -- for hurricanes or against them.
A few minutes later, I heard another baffling snatch of dialogue on the air, from another sector -- I think it was Martha's Vineyard.
'Is it raining hard there?' asked an eager voice.
'Yes, it is.'
'Fine!' exclaimed the first voice, well pleased at having got a correct response.....
......It was Taylor Grant, earlier in the evening, who pretty well summed things up for the radio. 'The weather bureau estimates that almost forty-six million persons along the east coast have felt some degree of concern over the movement of the storm,' said Mr. Grant. 'Never before has a hurricane had that large an audience.'"

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