Page 39 - June2017

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A
ny student of history will realize at one point or another
that the progression of society, much like the life of any
individual within it, is not a straight line. Rather it is an
infinite spiral that folds back on itself, again and again,
coming full circle but never to a complete stop, bringing us
reminders of the past—not to impede progress, but rather to
enrich our lives and the life of the collective by revealing a deeper
purpose and a sense of continuity in a world that can at times
feel somewhat meaningless and disjointed.
After the 1900 Storm, a group of businessmen, who had
previously only been concerned with commercial pursuits,
came together to rebuild the city. They did not bother with
the trifles of brick and mortar, however, but were rather intent
on reestablishing the viability of a previously defunct city
government that was in no way suited to lead Galveston back
from such an exaggerated tragedy.
Their efforts were the bedrock of the city’s recovery, and they in
turn were bolstered by the leadership and determination of one
man, whose vision was so remarkable that it would carry through
to generations spanning the entirety of the twentieth century.
He coined the phrase, “The Spirit of Galveston,” and used it to
assuage his community’s fear of the future and replace it with
hope. His name was Isaac Kempner. His nickname was Ike.
The World
M
eteorological Organization (WMO) has a systematic
procedure for naming hurricanes. An international committee
maintains six lists of alphabetically arranged names that are used
in a six year rotation, i.e. the 2017 list will be used again in 2023.
Within the lists, male and female names are alternated evenly.
When applied to weather occurrences that are irregular at best
and unpredictable at worst, the process becomes almost entirely
random.
Those who believe in coincidence would probably also argue
that naming a deadly destructive force of nature after a revered
hero of history would be inappropriate if it were not up to
chance. But to witness how far Galveston has come since
Hurricane Ike, and to realize that the growth may not have
happened without the destruction, piques a certain curiosity
about how one name, on one list used every six years for every
storm across the globe, could fall precisely on that certain week
in September 2008 and just so happen to be the exact name of
The
unsinkable
Strand
By Kimber Fountain
The Strand Chronicles
Chapter 13
Top image by John Hall
JUNE 2017 |
GALVESTON MONTHLY |
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