I posted this in another thread but it is buried. I had to share this with the forum collective as I found it so awesome.
I'm just getting around to writing this as I've been a busy bee the last three days.
Thursday, my older son took me to the Phiilies business man's special for my birthday. It was quite a treat watching them spank the Indians.
When I traveled as a Field Engineer I installed over 220 computer systems in hospitals around the country which brought me to every major city and secondary cities as well as boondock cities and towns. I always made it a point to go to any home football or baseball games in each city I visited. No matter how many times I tried to get Indian tickets while in Cleveland they were either away or for some reason sold out due to playing a rival. Many times I was able to see the Eagles or the Phils play in those cities.
Ah sweet revenge . . . couldn't get to see the Indians at their home field so I got to watch the third game sweep spank of them 12 to 2 on Thursday which was fun. It was 94 degrees there but only a humidity of 40% which made that heat bearable. It was completely sold out.
However in the 8 th inning as the fans applauded the sun being covered by a cloud, I looked over my shoulder at the sky and saw this dark green with a yellow fringe storm coming. I elbowed my son and told him that's the color of the sky I saw in the many tornados I experienced in Dallas and the mid-west . . . no sooner than I got the words out of my mouth BAM this giant violent storm hit with 75 mile an hour winds.
It was unbelievable!!!! The configuration of the ball park has several openings around the park. Well the wind and the rain and hail came and started to swirl around the park. It created a mini twister INSIDE the park. THe rain was swirling side ways and a funnel was created so the rain was going horizontally and up and then all the debris, empty plastic beer and water bottles and all the trash associated with sandwichs and other goodies started to swirl around and up as the intensity of the twister increased. My son and I tried to stay in our seats but security forced us under an overhang. As it went on it spun faster and faster and stronger picking up 30 gallon plastic trash cans straight up into the funnel and hurled it around.
The guys that tend the field had a hell of a time getting that huge tarp over the infield. . . they got in down finally AND THEN it looked like God reached down and grabbed the tarp at the middle and pulled it straight up the funnel a short ways then plopped it down. It was raining so hard that there was a river of water angrily running along the bottom of the steps like a river with tons of debris in it just whizzing by.
We stayed for the whole show and it was AWESOME!!! But that was'nt the end of it.
When we left the stadium, the destruction this storm caused in Philly was like nothing I ever saw before. Almost every street was closed with trees and huge branches covering it. Whole silver oak trees much thicker than a telephone pole snapped in half. There is a new development on Penrose ave where the entire fence (miles of it) were down and the posts that held them were snapped in half. It took us almost four hours to get to Chester County but then the real carnage was evident. Once we got on Rt 352 from Media to West Chester, it was an adventure in itself. Entire rows of Pine trees down and covering the roads, huge Oak trees down some snapped right in half, those huge aluminum street signs and stop light bent over like a pretzel, regular street sign twisted around like Twirlers Licorice. It was amazing. Power outages everywhere.
I wish I had a movie camera with me. When we got close to my son's house incredibly enough none of the dozens of trees on his property had gone down however at the bottom of his street, one of the widest trees I ever saw was laying across the road. He did however have no power.
My wife and little guy were driving up from Newark and my daughter-in-law was driving up from CHOP in the city and it took both hours to get to his house. We were supposed to go out to a choice of three different restaurants . . . all were closed due to the power outages. The only restuarants in the entire open for business was Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays and Chille's. The first two had an hour and a half wait due to the droves of people looking to eat because their power was out. We got to Chille's which I had never eaten and the wait was twenty minutes . . . I found out why. The food absolutely sucked!!! But we all had a great time.
My son is currently touching up the pictures of the twister inside the stadium and I will post them as soon as he gets them to me. In the meantime here is a picture of a guy who kept cracking us up!
Another highlight of the game Phillies catcher Dane Sardinha hit his first Major League home run and it came right at us. This tubby short legged guy (me) jumped high and back and the ball hit me square in on the tips of my fingers (actually bruising and swelling the top of it) the ball was knocked out of my hand and I came crashing down in the seat. The next thing I know the ball is spinning by my right foot, my son to my left and the girl sitting to my right both had their hands on it. I couldn't reach it as my belly got in the way. My son let the girl have the ball. Funny thing is that my son had moved to the seat to the left of me. If he had stayed in his assigned seat the ball would have landed right in his lap. That was the first time I came that close to a home run ball or even a foul ball. . . what a great day. BTW when we got to my son's house we had to wring out our underwear and socks.
What a great birthday present!!!
Oh yeah I forgot to mention the constant sound of the freight train while the twister was roaring!!! Really cool!
I've been through lots and lots of tornados over the years but this time I was right smack dab in the middle of one, sure it wasn't as strong as a real touched down tornado but it was definitely exhilarating.
My son still has no electricity or water but he's working on the pictures (they were taken on a cellphone camera) and when he gets them to me I'll post them.
I'm still on an endorphin high!