Start of a Bright Future and End to A Bright Shining Light
After a warm end to the old year, look for a cold start to the new year. A front passes through Monday evening, increasing winds and bringing a few showers. That opens the door for an Arctic Blast with another front on its heels. Revelers will be happy with the temps in the 40′s for much of the evening until Midnight. By that time, it’s questionable if all local professional new year’s partiers will notice but the winds will have picked up from the WNW to about 15-30 mph and the mercury will fall through the 30′s. New Year’s Day we will struggle to 32 by midday and then fall all afternoon and evening. The best chance for light snow showers will come Tuesday night but that won’t be a big issue as the winds and cold will grab the headlines. Wednesday morning we start in the upper teens and low 20′s and only make it to the mid to upper 20′s. Thursday morning we’re down to the low to mid teens before sunshine helps us nudge above the freezing mark before falling again Thursday night. But, a big warm up begins Friday afternoon and won’t end until we’re pushing the 60 degree mark Sunday and especially Monday. This up and down pattern is something we’ll have to get used to as it’s pretty typical of a La Nina Pattern.
On this Date in History: Thomas Alva Edison successfully demonstrated the use of his incandescent light bulb in 1879. It had been invented about 4 decades before but Edison is the first to come up with a working, practical bulb. He made his demonstration on a street in his home town of Menlo Park, New Jersey. The Pennsylvania Railroad ran special trains so that new year’s revelers might really brighten up for 1880. Here’s the Louisville connection. In 1883, the Southern Exposition opened in Louisville with the large building, located in what is now St. James Place. The building was adorned with some 20,000 incandescent lights….the largest single display in the world up to that time. The number of bulbs in Louisville at the expo was greater than all of the bulbs in New York City.
On This Date in 1972, I cried. Baseball great Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash. He was my favorite baseball player. I had seen on TV get his 3000th hit in his final game and watched the Pirates dispatch the Orioles in the World Series the year before. On Christmas 1972, a devastating earthquake struck Nicaragua. Clemente was a true humanitarian and immediately worked to get supplies from his native Puerto Rico to the stricken area. I think it was a DC 7 that they had loaded up…loaded too much. Not only that, but the plane was in disrepair on not airworthy. Against the wishes of his companions, Clemente insisted on traveling with the supplies to deliver the personally as he had been distressed to learn that much of the aid that had been dispacthed was not getting to those in need. Witnesses say that at 9pm the plane lumbered down the runway with various spurts and noises. It reached a level of about 200 feet before exploding and falling in the sea. Clemente’s body was never recovered. On the island, many said it was the day when happiness died. His friend and teammate Manny Sanguillen was known to be smiling constantly. For the final years of Sanguillen’s career, rarely was a smile seen on his face. I cried that night when I heard the news and couldn’t stop. From then on I always tried to be number 21. That spring, I cried again when number 21 was too small. I got Babe Ruth’s number 3 and all through high school, I was usually number 3. But, to this day, I always have number 21 on my lottery numbers. The special homage from to a great man who’s exploits and efforts on the field were only topped by his love and effort for his fellow man off the field. As a little boy I cried that night and probably joined millions of kids and adults. I get weepy just remembering it. It’s too bad that more of the heroes of the kids today don’t emulate the life of Roberto Clemente who used the gifts he had been given to serve others. He was a bright shining light whose luminance should last a 1000 years.