The Thinking 

Legs Through the Ceiling

September 11, 2017

A READER sent this reminiscence of the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926:

When my Dad was little, the family moved to Coral Gables one week before the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926.  He had just celebrated his seventh birthday on September 10 on the boat that brought them. George Merrick hired my grandfather, a civil engineer, to oversee the building of the roads and bridges of the first planned city. While in the eye, the landlord asked my grandfather to help him repair the roof.  It wasn’t long before the ladder had blown away and  my poor grandmother thought my grandfather had, too.  She had sheets of water pouring into the house and two kids burning up with scarlet fever.  My grandfather tied himself and the landlord to the chimney and managed to hold on to one tool, a claw hammer.  It sounds comical today but my grandfather, a calm and businesslike man, suggested to the landlord that he had thought of a way to get off the roof but it would entail further damage and wished his express permission.  After getting quick permission from a man who feared for his life, my grandfather tore off more tiles and beat a hole into the sub roof big enough for the men to drop to safety.  My grandmother, an occasional newspaper columnist who wrote up the account, said the sweetest sight in the world was seeing legs come through the ceiling.

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