Mixsonian Larry


Hurricanes were always a concern living in Florida although in Gainesville, being in the center of the state, we didn't' worry too much about it. There were a couple of hurricanes that I do have particular memories of. The first was hurricane Betsy in 1965. Betsy was a really big storm, a category 5, and it was headed right for Florida and was expected to cross over it. I remember that we and other's in our family all went over to Grandpa and Grandma Junior's house to wait out the storm. We always said that hurricane Betsy was named after my sister Beth who was four years old. Another year I remember, I think it was 1968, we got a hurricane that came across Florida and dumped about a foot of rain. The water in our street kept getting deeper and deeper and then started creeping up into the yard. We were worried that it would come up into the house but it stopped several feet from the front door. Across University Avenue there was a neighbor hood that was in a low area and the houses there had about four feet of water in them. The water slowly drained away over the next couple of days and to our surprise it left eels in the street. David and I caught several eels about a foot long an d then we caught a super fat one that was about three inches in diameter and about three feet long. We put them in a big aquarium that we had outside and kept them for several weeks. Another thing that happened was that Hogtown Creek became swollen almost becoming a river. David, some other boys in the neighborhood and I took inner tubes down to the creek and we would float down the "rapids". There was one spot that was real narrow and we would just jump in without inner tubes and float down it. I remember hitting one spot, going over a small waterfall and getting sucked down under the water. I thought I was going to drown but I came up about ten feet further down the creek gasping for air.