knows, it NEVER rains in
Southern California, so when Melody and her Grandmother drove across the
country in 1960, there was a new adventure. Of course, it’s not so that it
never rains in Southern California, and Melody HAD seen lightning, of course,
but her experience had been a somewhat watered-down version of what she
experienced during her exciting vacation. The story below, though seemingly
impossible, actually happened and Melody has never, ever forgotten it. I hope
you enjoy the tale.
Melody, a few months after
this story took place.
Basin, Wyoming Oug. 14, 1960
I am having
so much fun. Nauturly it rains every place we go. It thundered and lightninged
all night long. I hope you like your card.
“Thunder and lightning” was minimizing the “fireworks display” that had
gone on the night before. In fact, it was quite unlike anything that Melody had
experienced before, and very exciting. The whole thing had begun while she was
in the barn with Joe Sterling, in Wyoming,
helping him milk the cow. They had been standing in Bossy’s stall, while Joe
was getting the stool ready to sit down and begin when the first loud crash had
sounded just outside the door. The frightened Bossy kicked the stool over and
just as Joe bent over to put it right a second crash set the barn to ringing;
simultaneously, a long flash of light entered through the back door of the
building and left it through the front. Old Joe stood up as quickly as his
tired, surprised body would permit and stared down at Melody, eyes bulging with
“Melody,” he said in a somewhat strangled voice, “please tell me that you
just saw what I just saw. Please,” he
“Yeah, I saw it. What was it?”
“That,” he whispered dramatically, reassured that he wasn’t imagining
things and gesturing towards the open doors, “was a bolt of lightning. It’s a
good thing,” he continued in a rather more normal voice, “we were here beside
Bossy and not standing in the middle of the corridor. We’d’ve been a pile of ashes
instead of standing here discussing what just happened.”
“Wow! You mean lightning like the stuff that flashes during a rainstorm? At
home we just see it in the sky and it looks like a fork. Gee,” she said,
shaking her head in wonder, “I didn’t know it could open doors like that and
just walk through a barn. Neat! Do you think it will happen again? Just wait
until I tell Gramma Mary; she won’t believe it.”
“You can just bet your boots she won’t believe it; nobody will believe that
a bolt of lightning went right through here without burning up everything it
touched. Mind you, it didn’t touch much except for the back door. Let’s go see
if it left some kind of mark on the door so we can prove it went through here.
We’d better not say anything if there’s not, ‘cause no one’s gonna believe
anything except that we’ve been seeing things that aren’t really there, and
that’s not too good.”
They both walked gingerly towards the door, taking care to not touch
anything on the way; even though it seemed that the lightning hadn’t touched
anything, there was always a chance that some kind of electrical current had
been left behind. The first hint that they found that something odd had
happened was that one of the doors to the barn was hanging slightly off-center
because of a damaged hinge; this had been caused by the force produced by the
lightning as it flung the door inward. There were a number of new dents, but
these could have been caused by any number of factors found in and around the
Black Angus farm.
there’s nothing here except this hinge that will bear out our story. I guess
we’d best not say anything to anyone. I won’t say anything if you don’t, and I
won’t anyway, even if you do.”1
ever had a strange experience during a thunder and lightning storm? Would you
like to share it with us?
1The preceding is an excerpt
from Old McDonald Had a Funny Farm 2: New Friends and Old by Mary
McDowell Purpari, publication date pending
There are different kinds of kisses and when Melody was a
child, her very favorite kind of kisses was the kind she got from her
grandparents and parents on her cheek.
kind was the chocolate kind made by Hershey’s and which they got only on very
rare occasions, like at the Coca Cola Company Christmas party or once in a
while in their Christmas stockings. Honey and Ross were of the opinion that
their delightful, ever-active children didn’t need more energy than they
already had. That’s okay – when Melody was old enough to make her own decisions
regarding chocolate, she made up for all the uneaten chocolate of her
childhood. When she made her way to Italy, the Italian kisses, known as Baci
Perugina, were her undoing. Oh my… But I digress.
Melody outgrew her childhood and when she turned twelve, she had the first kiss
of another type. His name was Steve Crayfish. It was just before Christmas and
this new Steve had just taken Melody to the junior high school Christmas dance.
They’d been accompanied to the dance by Steve’s mom, while Ross brought them
this is Southern California, and at a certain point – the room becoming too
warm – Steve accompanied Melody outside the school gym and then, in a
completely unexpected move, he kissed her. On the LIPS!!!!!! Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, she was shocked and a
little embarrassed… at first. But then, she thought it was kind of neat and
kissed him back. (Did I ever mention that Melody was a bit, shall we say,
precocious?) It was a very chaste kiss and was never repeated. Probably because
Steve’s family moved away shortly after the beginning of the new year.
next kiss came around a year and a half later, during the summer before she
started high school. There was this cute boy named Larry who was visiting his
aunt and uncle who lived down the street from the McDonalds, who she liked a
lot, but he was going to be a junior when school started again and she would be
a mere freshman. She didn’t realize that she had blossomed during the summer…
Anyway, she was washing the dishes after dinner one night when Larry came in.
He usually came to deliver messages for his aunt and uncle, but that particular
evening he headed straight for Melody, just while she was washing a big, sharp
knife. He called out to her and she turned to look at him; she was so startled
when he kissed her, that she involuntarily tightened her grip on the knife.
Unfortunately for her, it turned out that the part of the knife she was holding
was the blade…
Honey disinfected and bandaged Melody’s hand, Larry quietly finished washing
the dishes and left. That was the last time he came over and she never saw him
next kiss was again an unusual awakening. It also turned her completely off
French kissing. She got a birthday card on her sixteenth birthday that said “Happy
Sweet Sixteenth: If you swear you’ve never been kissed…” open card “…You have a
perfect right to swear!” Well, at least she couldn’t swear about that.
random kisses were the only ones she got until she hit college. But, that is a
different story and different times…