On this date in 1715, the French ship Grifon survived a hurricane off the coast of Florida. “So what,” you ask?Well, first off when the Spanish came to the new world they were looking for booty and plunder. They wanted to exploit the region for its natural resources and send it back to the king in Spain. So they would gather up all of their gold and trinkets and send them back on ships, usually in a convoy to protect against pirates. The Spaniards were rather formidable in those days and so it was suicide for any marauding pirates to try and take on a fleet of ships. On this date in 1715, 10 Spanish ships and one French ship made its way through the Straits of Florida where they ran into a hurricane. For some reason, the French ship sailed farther off the coast from the Spaniards. The Spanish ships, filled with hundreds of tons of gold and silver, sunk. The french ship survived. That French ship was the Grifon.
If you remember the movie The Deep then this ship is familiar to you. Its the ship that Robert Shaw decided had survived but later came back and may have sunk. I’ve provided a script from the scene below. But anyway, there are two things that come to mind from this. First is that Peter Benchley did a fabulous job of basing his fictitious tale on accurate history. I was very surprised that there really was a Grifon that really was the only ship to not sink in a hurricane. The other thing is that about 80% of that gold was recovered by the Spanish by 1716 but the rest did not come back to the surface until the mid 1960’s, which makes me wonder how much of Benchley’s script was really ficticious. Speaking of scripts, if you can take your eyes off of the photo of Bissett, you can read the script from The Deep, here.
On This Date in 1975, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. He was last seen the previous day at a restaurant parking lot. The movie Hoffa took many liberties. The Danny DeVito character was a fictitious character that was based on a conglomeration of other people. Here are the facts regarding the disappearance of James R. Hoffa. There are many theories on what happened to him, but no one really knows. Just a couple of days ago, a story appeared that said a jawbone police found outside of Detroit probably was not that of the former Teamsters leader. But, it goes to show that people and perhaps law enforcement remain on the case. There have been stories that Hoffa is in the end zone of Giants Stadium. There have been many searches, one in which the cops drained a lake. They didn’t find him. I had a roommate from Pittsburgh whose father was a labor attorney. He always told me that Hoffa’s body was in a road bed of some highway that I cannot recall. Whatever, it is, speculation is that he was killed and it was a conspiracy, but by whom? One of those stories that will probably never have a solution and therefore will never go away.
On This Date in 1990, Nolan Ryan won his 300th game by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3. Here is his career biography. We used to go to every game he pitched when he was with the Astros There was this old man who always screamed out “Breeze him Nolie!” It seemed to reverberate around the Astrodome…that and the beer vendor yelling “coldest foam in the Dome!” I never liked his nickname “The Ryan Express.” We just called him “The Big Heater.” There are a bunch of Ryan tales I could tell but two stand out. Of course, one is represented by the photo on the left. Robin Ventura didn’t like the Ryan threw inside so the youngster charged the mound. Ryan was a big, tough guy and this guy about 20 years his junior didn’t scare him. Instead of backing up, he simply bull-dogged the kid by grabbing him about the neck and pummeling him. It was as if he said “come here, boy!” One of the greatest moments in baseball history. Then there was his final pitch. He tore a ligament in his arm. But, he decided to throw one more pitch. The radar gun clocked it at 98 mph. Nolan Ryan is listed among Texas’ Heroes along with the likes of Davy Crockett.
Weather Bottom Line: As Maxwell Smart would say, “missed it by that much.” I had said that the reports of rain and t’storms on Thursday evening were a bit overblown and I suspected that the widespread rain would be similar to what happened the previous day, which was wide spread rain after midnight toward day break. Well, we did have scattered activity in the afternoon but the main blob did roll through much later. But, it was over by about 4 AM. So, I was off by a few hours. Anyway, the map above shows the rain from midnight to midnight on the 30th and from Louisville to a few counties north, the totals were 2-4 inches and then a few counties south of Louisville got 2-3 inches. My sunflowers are quite happy.
The pattern will be pretty regular in terms of consistency but not for the time of year. Frontal activity is typically limited this time of year but we just had one come through and there will be another weak one on Saturday night. The main action should be south and southwest of our area where the new front has grabbed on to the old front. Then another weak front shows up on Wednesday night. If this hold true, then we’ll probably see a repeat performance of scattered stuff on Saturday afternoon with the bulk of the widespread rain overnight on Saturday into Sunday morning. Early Sunday church may be wet. Then the same thing on Wednesday with some scattered stuff Wednesday evening with more widespread rain overnight Wednesday. The fronts are weak so we don’t get overly cooler or drier behind them but this pattern does not lend itself to 90 degree temperatures any time soon. For the first time in Louisville recorded history, we did not get to 90 degrees on any day in the month of July, which is quite remarkable.