View Full Version : Hurricane Wilma would not deny me a White Sox championship!(Hurricane survivor story)

11-07-2005, 03:06 AM
Hey there guys - long time ghoster, first time poster. Lifetime Sox fan.

I apologize in advance for the long read, but I hope at least some of you take the time to read it. Here is a recap of the days up to, during, and after the devestating Hurricane Wilma, and my experience with the World Series during that time. I hope you find it at least entertaining! This is for all the die hard fans out there.

I've been a White Sox fan since I first learned what baseball was, growing up in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Now I live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida as I have for awhile now, and not even hurricane Wilma would deny me the amazing championship run!

I'm sure you heard about Wilma when it happened a few weeks ago, though from what I'm reading now, it doesn't look like the media covered it to be as bad as it was (and still is). I'd guess a little less than half the South Florida area is still without power, working phone lines or even running water (that includes the cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale for those not familiar with the area). I was lucky to have my power restored after a LONG week and a half. (One of my best friends just got his power back yesterday, a few more are still waiting.) The city has been basically shut down for a good two week period (other than the workers trying to clean up). Even now, many stores are still shut down. Don't even ask about getting gas. Thats a lot of fun. There were lines just to get into the grocery store, which were running on generators. I'd say 90% of all stop lights are still out, making each and every intersection extremely dangerous. I'm tired of watching car accidents happen. Luckily we didn't have the flooding that Katrina had, but the winds really tore this entire place to shreds. 4 and 5-story tall trees snapped in half like toothpicks, or the ones too strong to break are actually completely uprooted, breaking sidewalks and roads like a cracker. It's quite a site.

Anyway, enough about the depressing moments. As bad as it is, I can't complain too much. Not after everything I've seen about Katrina and those poor people.

Back to the Sox! I was actually in Chicago visiting family the week before. I enjoyed the ALCS series immensely, watching each game and each post-game deep into the nights. We stayed downtown 3 days, visiting the usual spots along the Mile. Great to see the city supporting the Black and White! We flew back to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday - the day of Game 1 of the series. I was too concerned about the Sox to pay any attention to the looming storm. We didn't bother to get food or gas, or anything else. I figured it would be a bad thunderstorm at worst. After all, I went through Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. I know when to be worried. Silly me. :rolleyes: So we went from straight the airport to the house, made dinner and turned on the game. Just in time for pre-game stuff. Wow, am I dreaming? Are the White Sox really in the world series? Thats all I kept saying to myself.

So game 1 happens, and ends on a great note. Victorious. Just 3 more and I'll be in heavenly bliss with so many other faithfuls.

Game 2, the next day. Wilma gets closer, it's supposed to hit early in the morning tomorrow (monday). As long as it doesn't interfere with the Sox game, I'm ok with it. I continue to dismiss it. Still no gas, and whatever food we had before we went on vacation. (I had 1/8th of a tank of gas, by the way).

I should tell you, I work the graveyard shift at a computer company on the weekends. (Which is where I am writing this now - I still have no internet at home to this day (or tv, so when I'm at home I'm cut off from the world!)

So I am scheduled to go back to work Sunday night, which will require me to leave home and the game somewhere around the 4th inning. When I get to work it will probably be the 6th or so. God knows what I'll miss. Well, because of the storm, they are letting me work from home tonight so I'm not stuck at work when it hits! This means no break in the action, and I can watch the game from the comfort of my own home. At this point I'm starting to think, hey I'm kind of grateful that this storm is hitting us afterall! That is a thought that would soon change!)

So game two goes off without a hitch. Unbelievable. Paulie with a Grand Slam, the Pods with the walk-off. You have to be kidding me! This entire season seems unreal...why stop now?

Monday morning I am awakened by a fierce howling. The wind sounds like a freight train with a wolf on board. The windows are bowing in and out, I'm sure they are going to bust any minute. I look out the window - half the trees are swaying back and forth viciously....the other half have already snapped in half or shattered into a millions shards. Peoples' patios are gone, and I can even see a couple of broken windows. Then we lost power. Great. Shortly thereafter we would lose phone service, and then running water.

The rest of the storm is pretty uneventful from inside the house. We didn't have hardly any damage, thankfully. We later discovered that a massive tree branch fell through my fiancee's sunroof. You can see that here:


I'll spare you the stories of eating out of a can (cold soup, cold chef boyardee, etc) and skip ahead to game 3.

Tuesday arrives and it's time for game 3. The city is in shambles; I have no power, telephones or running water. But I don't care because the White Sox are up 2 games to none in the world series!

Well by now we have running water again, though we are under a boil alert, meaning we have to boil the water before drinking it. That's kind of funny - in an ironicly cruel way - because we have no power to turn on the stove! We also have phone service again, which most of the other people I know were not lucky enough to have. After all it has only been one day. Still no power though, so I have no idea how I'm going to watch this game. I'm getting angry and annoyed quickly. I have AM radio, so hopefully it'll be on the Fox sports station I listen to all the time. No one I know has power so I have nowhere to turn to! This can't be happening!

Gametime arrives. By now my fiancee and I are sitting in the car trying to find the game. Half the radio stations are totally down, only giving off static. The few that are able to broadcast are actually streaming the local television stations who are on full 24/7 hurricane coverage. the Fox AM station was doing this, and the ESPN radio station was pure static. Unbelieveable. I've waited my entire life to see the White Sox in the series, and now this. Damn you Wilma!!

So I fall back to plan B. We go back inside to our candlelit house. The windows are open and it's actually a nice night. Mid 60's (which in south florida is a heavenly welcome) Apparently you get awesome weather after the storm. So with no power, and the game isn't on the radio, I do any loving Sox fan would do in a time of need.

I call up my Grandma! (Or Grammie, as we like to call her). She lives in Chicago (well, just south of the city) and is a fan. My whole family is up there. Of course she's watching the game! "They're winning 3-0" she says sadly. "And it's only the 3rd inning."

We proceeded to spend the next FOUR hours on the phone, as she gives me the play-by-play through each and every ball and strike. I sat in almost complete darkness the whole time, my only light coming from a candle in the corner. We had a heck of a time in the 5th inning, where the Sox scored 5 runs to take the lead. "Unreal", I said to her. The magic just keeps continuing.

Just when I think the Sox are going to take that commanding 3 games to none lead, they give up the run in the bottom of the 8th. To extra innings we go. You all know the story from here...inning after inning of scoreless ball, with a few scares on both sides. It's extremely late, and we're both exhausted. Finally in the 13th inning I told her that I would let her go rest, and I'd find out what happens in the morning. Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.

I blew out my candle and tried to lay down to sleep. I tossed and turned for about 10 minutes. I could not sleep. It was KILLING me to not know what was happening. Not more than a minute later, my phone rings. Immediately I thought good news. If it were bad news, she wouldn't have bothered calling. I was right. Geoff Blum hits a solo shot. Wow. Unreal, yet again. To top it off, we get an insurance run on the bases-loaded walk. Buehrle comes in and seals it up, but not without the scare. Still, I could now rest peacefully, knowing we were up 3 games to none. I slept like a baby that night. :smile:

So Tuesday comes and I will not be Denied. I HAVE to watch Game 4 in the event they win it all. I have waited my entire life to experience this feeling and nothing will stand in my way.

11-07-2005, 03:06 AM
Good news arrived. While I was still without a lick of power, my best friend who lives about a half-hour southwest of me got his power back. Guess where I'm going tonight!?

Now keep in mind the entire city has a cerfew - 7pm to be exact. We heard on the radio how cops were being really strict about it too, threatening to arrest people who violate the cerfew. Quite frankly, I didn't care at all about the cerfew. I will watch this game if I have to go through hell or high water. My fiancee and I got to my friends house around 6:30 or so. Because I still had no gas, we had to take her car (the one with the hole in the sunroof). Again, nothing was going to stop me from watching this game.

We watched one hell of a baseball game, and screamed with joy when Dye hit that grounder up the middle in the 8th. We were 6 defensive outs from celebrating something I didn't expect to see. While I understand why Dye got the MVP, I'd say the MVP of the last inning had to be Uribe with those amazing plays. The dive into the stands, and then that unbelievable catch and throw that blooped over Jenks' head.

I still think about it can't believe this all happened. It's as if I'm going to wake up and find out we didn't win. But as I drive to work now - through the pitch black streets, with the piles upon piles of debris and trash lining the roads, I realize that it all is very much real. All of it. And because of this team, this franchise that I have rooted for my entire life, I was able to forget about the disaster at hand and live in the moment of the game.

So I sit here with my Chicago White Sox hat on and smile. We are the World Series Champions.

Wow. That sounds so good to say that.

11-08-2005, 02:17 PM
bump for a daytime read. When I posted this it was in the middle of the night. :)

Baby Fisk
11-08-2005, 02:47 PM
Wow, I need to print this and read it at home tonight. Or actually -- hey Cheeses: could you fax this to my home office? :?:

11-08-2005, 07:31 PM
Welcome and good to see that I'm not the only sox fan in South Florida!! We had gone to Orlando during the storm on a pre-arranged trip. We watched games one and two at a sports bar up there with a bunch of other die-hards..

We shuttered the house prior to leaving. We live in Cutler Ridge, where Hurricane Andrew REALLY hit. You Broward people think you went thru it....you did not... :)

We thankfully got our power back within 10 hours, so I was able to watch the game live. I just was up there in your neighborhood Friday, and could not believe how badly you all were hit. We had minor roof damage down here, and a ton of trees down, but nothing like Broward and Palm Beach counties...
I guesss this is what we get for living in paradise....:angry:

Best of luck with your recovery, and let's hope we get spared next year!!

11-08-2005, 08:53 PM
Hey there, thanks for the reply. I actually lived in Miami during hurricane Andrew so I do know what devestation REALLY is. You heard of Country Walk? I lived not quite a mile from there.

Apparently I am a magnet to hurricanes. :tongue:

Still, glad to see another Sox fan down here.

Oh, and I'll disagree with the whole paradise thing! I'm moving back to Chicago hopefully by the beginning of the year...and this time I'm staying! :D:

11-08-2005, 08:55 PM
Sorry, my attention span is WAY too short to read all that, but...

welcome to WSI!! :D: :bandance: :gulp:

Baby Fisk
11-08-2005, 10:19 PM

Tuesday arrives and it's time for game 3. The city is in shambles; I have no power, telephones or running water. But I don't care because the White Sox are up 2 games to none in the world series! That's got to be one of the best Sox fan quotes ever. :cool: I nominate this for POTW.

11-09-2005, 06:04 AM
Hey there, thanks for the reply. I actually lived in Miami during hurricane Andrew so I do know what devestation REALLY is. You heard of Country Walk? I lived not quite a mile from there.

Apparently I am a magnet to hurricanes. :tongue:

Still, glad to see another Sox fan down here.

Oh, and I'll disagree with the whole paradise thing! I'm moving back to Chicago hopefully by the beginning of the year...and this time I'm staying! :D:

We actually owned a coach house there on SW 135 Circle Ln! My partner was a month away from selling it when Andrew hit, so we ended up being stuck with it through the entire rebuilding, law suits, etc...We lived there for a couple of years after it was rebuilt. Would have stayed there, too, but we needed more space....

11-09-2005, 01:28 PM
We actually owned a coach house there on SW 135 Circle Ln!

No kidding! I lived around 134th and 117th. Small world. Andrew was probably the best thing that happened to me, honestly...my mom sold the house "as is", and moved to a nicer area with the insurance money. It's been great ever since.

And thanks for the love, Baby Fisk!

11-22-2005, 03:46 PM

You've got to get a generator! Thanks to mine, I didn't miss a pitch! I had to go to work on Sunday Night (Sheriff's Office) Thank God we didn't lose power until Monday. I felt that same sense of irony, wait a lifetime for the Sox to go to "the big show" and then get whacked like we did.

The lesson here is that nothing will stop a true Sox fan from supporting thier team, not huricanes, 10 hour gas lines (to keep that generator running), no power, no traffic signals, no radio, warm beer, nothing!!! :D:

I think it made this championship all the sweeter!

-Mark from Loxahatchee (yes, the place where Jerry Manuel used to live.. :mad: )

11-22-2005, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the post Signal00.

As for an update, things are pretty much getting back to normal, I finally got my cable back late last week. Almost a month without cable, and conversely my cable modem. (I wrote this post originally from work one night!) You don't realize how much you take for granted until its gone!

Now we just have to get the car repaired with the insurance money ($3000 damage!!) and things will be back to normal for us.

What about the rest of you survivors who chimed in on this post? Hope everyone is doing well.

11-23-2005, 10:31 AM
Fine. Our roof was repaired last week. Getting the house ready for the holidays...Can't put any lights in the front yard, becaue we have no trees left...

Saw another Sox car flag on the Palmetto Expy this morning, so there's at least one more of us down here!

11-25-2005, 02:14 AM
TheQuestion.....I read your whole story. It was an awesome tale.

Die-hard White Sox fans can not be denied.:cool:

My only problem with the playoffs was my house got broken into & they stole all my electronics including my brand new VCR/DVD player/recorder & I couldn't record any of the games.

Thanks to the ComCast Sports Net replays of the games I'll still get to record the games after all. Tomorrow, I'm gonna go buy me another VCR/DVD player/recorder.:D:

12-07-2005, 12:55 PM
I was begging for any sox fans in south Florida all year! I listened to game 3 on my xm radio in the truck until 2:30.