Thursday, September 14, 2017

Weathering Hurricane Irma.

I spent all morning looking for a coffee house with Wi Fi. My apartment has no power. I tried Stardust Video and Coffee first. A staff member was dumping water out the front door using a plastic trash pail. He let me know that Stardust was without power. A crew was cutting up a fallen Live Oak across the street. I tried Drunken Monkey next. The parking lot was full. I parked a few blocks away and walked in. There was a huge line for coffee. Nicki Drumb, who got an awesome grant to help create "Moving Art" on Orlando's Sun Rail, had her cup of coffee and gave me a hug in line. She let know that the Monkey had no Wi Fi. Ugh, I groaned. Next I tried the Orlando Public Library which had bombastic music piped in at the entrance. Unfortunately the library was closed. 

At this point I gave up my quest for a digital connection. Instead I sketched this fallen tree near my apartment. The neighborhood was coming alive with people walking their dogs to get out after being cooped up for several days because of Hurricane Irma. Baby Blue , the owner of the Venue stopped her car and asked me if I needed anything from my curbside sketching perch. A neighbor who was also out of power stopped to see my sketch and we chatted for a moment. It is amazing how catastrophe helps bring a community together. With my sketch done, I drove up to Winter Park, because The re was a rumor that Austin's Coffee (929 West Fairbanks Road Orlando FL) was open and it had Wi Fi. Behind the counter the Batista's mused,"We got Nihilism, we got musings in cool places,We got bad attitudes, oh and we got power."  With an ice cold Yak and a Portabella Mushroom sandwich, I finally settled in to write this article.

The night before, power flickered off just as Pam Schwartz pulled a hot home made pizza out of the oven. We played cards by candle light as the winds picked up outside. I followed the eye of the four hundred mile wide storm on the radar app on my phone. South West coast of Florida as a category four Hurricane and it crept north at 15 miles per hour. The winds blew objects which rolled and scraped over the roof. The sky flashed a mysterious vibrant blue. Emergency vehicle lights strobbed and illuminated the trees a blood red. Something banged at the front and back of the house. Several intense wind bursts made it seem like The roof might lift.

The next morning clean up began. It seemed like half of the tree limbs had snapped off of the tree. Curb side piles grew to fortress proportions. Large trees were down in the neighborhood. With yard work out of the way curator Pam Schwartz and I drove south to check on the warehouse where the Orange County History Center's off site storage facility is housed. What we found was shocking and unexpected. A huge double rainbow spanned the horizon opposite the setting sun over the huge warehouse parking lot which was now a lake which was thigh deep.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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