Nov 132022

Except for dealing with Hurricane Nicole, pretty much all I’ve done for the last week is read through and make corrections to several chapters of my new Big Lake book. That’s an awful lot of words and I still have more to go, I think one or two more chapters before I print them out for Terry to edit and proofread.

I’m not sure why this book is taking so much longer than I expected because it’s not going to be any longer than the others in the series, but it just seems to be slow progress. Part of that is the extra research it has taken to get some of the details right, but things usually go faster than this. Hopefully, when it’s done my readers will think it was worth the delay.

Besides everything else that she does to keep our house and business flowing along, as I reported the other day, Miss Terry has been busy getting a new weaving project ready to go. She has all the wool yarn on the loom now but still has to tie everything up before she starts the actual weaving process.

And my twisted mind would be remiss if I didn’t mention that yesterday was the anniversary of one of the most hilarious (read sick) misadventures to ever happen on the Pacific Northwest coast. In November of 1970, the body of an eight-ton, forty-five foot long sperm whale washed up on the beach at Florence, Oregon.

Local folks were understandably disturbed because a dead whale smells like, well, a dead whale. It doesn’t exactly make for a pleasant day at the beach. Of course, there are always looky lous who have to come and check out something like that, and local officials worried that some fool might try climbing onto the dead creature and get hurt. And there was also the very real possibility that the body might burst as gases built up inside the whale during decomposition.

So what do you do with a giant dead whale? State officials pondered the question, and somebody came up with the bright idea of using explosives to blow it into small pieces that would then be washed away by the tide or devoured by seagulls and other creatures.

A large crowd of local people and reporters waited on the beach while Assistant District Highway Engineer George Thornton and his crew prepared the half-ton dynamite charge. What happened next can only go down as one of the most bizarre scenes ever recorded.

When the dynamite went off, a huge cloud of gore flew into the air, and the people gathered began to scream and run as they were pummeled by pieces of bloody, stinking dead whale. One large chunk of whale blubber (one report said it weighed more than forty pounds) slammed into the roof of a car and crushed it. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured, and one chagrined official involved in the fiasco later admitted to reporters that “maybe we used too much dynamite.” Ya think?

Here is a YouTube video about the incident, but you might not want to watch it while you are eating breakfast.

But time heals all wounds, and the good people of Florence eventually decided to celebrate the crazy incident with T-shirts and other souvenirs, and Florence even has an Exploding Whale Memorial Park.

That’s making lemonade when life gives you lemons, right? I’m just glad that old saying doesn’t say you should make fish sticks when life gives you fish. Or dead whales.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – You can only be young once. But you can be immature forever.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Words, Wool, And An Exploding Whale”

  1. It seems to take longer to do things as time passes. Even taking Snaps (short naps).
    Looks like Terry will be creating another Masterpiece.
    Hopefully there won’t too many more Exploding Whales in the future.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  2. I’m sure this Big Lake book will be as enjoyable as all the previous ones were. Looking forward to reading what all the beloved characters have been up to. Hopefully, it will be a blast, much better than the whales.

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