I have been known to forget to pack my brain when I go on vacation.  In April 1998 GD had a business meeting in Nashville.  I had some vacation time coming so I tagged along.  I toured the Jack Daniels distillery and the state capitol while my husband attended his meetings for two days.  After the meetings were over on Thursday the 16th, we walked downtown to check out the places we had seen on CMT, like the White Horse Café, before we took an evening plane home.  It was a cloudy day and kind of spitting rain when the wind came up.  Then the air started to get a little texture, you know grit and dirt, along with more rain.  Next came pink insulation flying through the air.  At this point we ducked into a parking garage to wait out the storm.  People were wandering in looking shell-shocked and a car with elephant butt-prints on its windshield pulled into the garage.  After about ten minutes the wind died down and we walked to the front of the garage.  Insulation was strewn everywhere along with broken glass and chunks of buildings.  The first thing out of my mouth was… “It looks like a tornado went through here!”  “It did,” said GD dryly.  I don’t remember it being loud like a freight train, just really windy.  I think a parking garage is a good place to be.  They are concrete, so they would be pretty safe and you won’t get claustrophobic because you can see out.


In my defense:

  1. When we have tornadoes in Nebraska the city sounds a siren to alert us
  2. I went to college in Laramie, WY where it often is windy enough to blow rocks around


My next moment came in Georgia.  My step-son graduated from boot camp at Fort Benning in August of 2005 so GD and I took my MIL down to watch the ceremony.  Since we had never been to the area, we decided to take a small vacation.  We only had a little time so we focused on the Columbus/Atlanta/Macon area.  We visited Andersonville and the houses of a couple presidents.  We were on a back road (as all of them are in that area) when noon came around.  My MIL needs to be fed on a regular basis, but we were in the middle of nowhere.  Suddenly we came upon a gas station, also in the middle of nowhere.  I drew the short straw so I went in and asked if there was anywhere around to eat.  The guy behind the counter looked at me like I was an idiot (which I was) and said, “The Whistle Stop Café is just around the corner, you know like in the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café?”  And so it was, as well as a huge billboard in the parking lot of the gas station.  It is a good place to eat, but I still don’t know where it was!