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Henry L. Lefevre

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Outguessing The Fog
By Henry L. Lefevre
Monday, October 01, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Wars involve much more than shooting them dead.

I bravely fought for our country throughout World War II as a fearless, gung ho weatherman -- a.k.a. meteorologist. Man, did I have it tough!

Once I endured nine months of in depth training at Chanute Field in Illinois, I felt that I was God's gift to the U. S. Army Air Force. Back in those days, the Air Force wasn't allowed to stand-alone by itself. In actuality, the army provided it with some sort of administrative structure -- and little else. In other words, we considered the army to be our organization's illegitimate father.

Tallahassee became my first assigned base. By the time I could locate the weather office, the mess hall, and the closest latrine, I felt confident that I was a gift to the world, and Tallahassee in particular. , We forecasters obviously knew everything there was to know about weather and no one was allowed to fly off our runway without one of our weather forecasters giving them clearance. After all, Colonel Taylor had been our teacher and he was the obvious guru of all gurus. He taught us how to prepare weather maps, identify the location of weather fronts, and spit-polish our shoes until they sparkled.

I had it made until a dense fog rolled in and our pilots were grounded. Can you imagine having to tell the hotshot CEO of a large fighter aircraft that he couldn't get off the ground because of the fog -- and we could not confidently tell him when it would lift? The commotion we caused was horrendous. So were the tongue lashings I got when we stood our ground and refused to sign the clearance that would have allowed some colonel to take off into the wild blue yonder when he couldn't see the nose of his aircraft. I felt almost as bad as Moses might have felt had he told God that the Ten Commandments were too heavy to carry down that steep mountain.

I suddenly developed a phobia about fog and an irrational fear about going to work whenever our base was fogged in. After three months of living near hell, my salvation came in the form of our favorite soft drinks vendor.

One morning when the pop man was refilling our vending machine, I asked him when he thought the fog would break.

"No problem," he said. "Ten O'clock."

I snickered.

Then, the fog actually broke at five after ten. Salvation!

From then on, I held off my forecast until the pop man arrived. He was my new guru. Having survived local weather for 35 years, he knew more about fog around Tallahassee than any fat textbook.

After that, I never blew a fog forecast. Nor did I ever issue one until the pop man had arrived. Fighting the war behind a weather forecasters desk wasn't that much of a drag after all -- as long as the pop vendor arrived on schedule.

The End

By Henry L. Lefevre

Author of "A Spoonful of Humor."

       Web Site: Goose Droppings

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/1/2007

A most informative, entertaining write of what weathermen have to go through. Back then, they didn't have the technology they do now...and they still don't always know what's going to happen! Well done.

Thank you for your service, BTW. :)

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. *StormSpinner* Poet, photographer.
Reviewed by Michael Guy 10/1/2007
Very nice, entertaining write of your Florida weather work. Did you only serve n Tallahassee or elsewhere during the war years? Was radar available at that time at the air fields. I'll look for more of your weather stories by tracking you. You have a smooth writing style.
Best, michael guy (Floridian weather watcher! Windy, warm and showery here today!)

Books by
Henry L. Lefevre

A Spoonful of Humor

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The Good and The Bad News About Quality

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Quality Service Pays

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Government Quality and Productivity -- Success Stories

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War Stories for My Grandchildren - A Memoir in Short Stories by Jansen Estrup

The author served during many of the Cold War's most intense years, including 5 tours to Southeast Asia, but it was as a child that he fought his most courageous battles. For the p..  
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When the Bullet Hits Your Funny Bone by Billy Allmon

"When The Bullet Hits Your Funny Bone - The Essence of a U.S. Navy SEAL," takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride of tragedy and laughter, giving the reader a complete..  
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