My Personal Side

By Craig Hastings
What’s in a name? Everything and everybody has to have a name right? We’re all pretty much on board with this simplistic method of keeping our everyday lives and affairs in order. I don’t have one of the more common first names that anyone, any corporation, or any government agency has used to tag something of importance that needs to be readily recognized by the rest of us. I’ve been thinking about the name game again this week, because of the latest round of hurricanes that have wreaked havoc on several of our southern coastal states recently.

Unless you are someone who watches television stations that dedicate most of their air time to just the weather you won’t usually ever hear the names of the hurricanes of lesser strength that form up and blow themselves out before hitting landfall. It’s only the big powerful storms that draw the attention of the biggest cable stations, and the lesser viewed NBC, CBS, and ABC networks. How I long for the days of a simpler forecast from Mr. Roberts and Judy Frasier who my mom and dad tuned in every single night in our home when I was a small child. I’m sure the big hurricanes had their names back then just as they do now but, the storms were almost inland before meteorologists could tell just how strong or weak they were. Therefore those of us living in corncob county with aluminum foil wrapped around our rabbit ear antennas didn’t hear the names for weeks before the storms made landfall.

When a storm causes death and or large amounts of destruction the name of that particular storm will be retired forever and replaced by a new name and 82 names have been retired. I took a look at that list to see if maybe the reason I’ve never seen my name attached to a storm is because my name has been retired. My name wasn’t, but I found it interesting the names of two of our employees, Jeanne and Michelle, have been retired. Hmmm, that has me thinking about doing a little more research into what’s in a name. The name game started in the 1950s and continues today around the world. The names are alternated between girls and boys but only since around 1979. Before that only girl names were used. This a notation I’ve made should I continue my research into the Jeanne/Michelle big storms, lots of carnage, people scared, and so on.

The names are on a six-year cycle; so, you and I may very likely have another tropical storm name repeated in our lifetimes. I won’t remember should it happen but you might. If I don’t put it on a sticky note and stick that note on the speedometer glass on the dash of my car, I’ll never remember. I don’t remember the names of people just introduced to me five minutes earlier unless…well, that’s another story for another week on another all together different subject I think. I wonder what the people with the same first name as an approaching tropical storm think about it. For weeks before, during the mayhem, and then for months after depending on the severity of the storm, your name is repeated over and over in and on the news, tweeted, snap chatted, Facebooked, little league games, football games, lunches, breakfasts, suppers, first date nights, etc. I wonder; do your friends look at you any differently if the storm attached to your name is a bad one? I think I’m going to ask that question of Jeanne and Michelle for sure. However, since I just learned tonight that their names have been retired forever from the tropical storm list, will “I” look at them in a different light even before I ask the question? Maybe….so far just sitting here writing this I still feel the same about the both of them, but when I see them in the flesh who knows.

I’m hoping in my lifetime my name isn’t assigned to one of these incoming tropical storms unless; the storm hits landfall after earlier sucking up treasure chests of gold coins from long lost sunken pirate ships. Then when the storm reaches landfall the winds sprinkle all of those gold coins, enough for everyone in its path, to repair and replace their storm damage at least four times the cost of repair and replacement. After hurricane “Craig” is over, and everything is back to normal I want everyone living in the coastal areas to hope and pray for the next hurricane “Craig.” And, since there is usually at least three weeks’ notice the storms are approaching, I want a few families living in mid-America to anticipate a fair return from hurricane “Craig” and move to one of those predicted coastal states of impact before “I” hit landfall! They can move back later.

Nope, I don’t want my name attached to anything of an unpredictable outcome. I wouldn’t take the gamble if even I had a choice. Remember my slogan “Vote Hastings for Nothing”? Same holds true for tropical storm monikers. Of course I was just having fun with the whole Jeanne/Michelle remarks, but it is true both names have been scratched forever as tropical storm names. And, I just may take a little longer study of the both of them next time I see them!