Solar Storms 2012
by Ted Howe and Shirley Swift
North Liberty, Iowa – November 1, 2012 “Damn” Frank said forcefully turning the radio off and standing up. “Sounds like those solar flares are gonna’ happen after all.”
“R.J., you got your ears on!” Frank excitedly yelled into the CB mike trying to get his neighbor.
“What’s got you riled up today, Frank?” came the reply.
“You hear anything about these solar flares?”
“Yeah. Haven’t had any since July but it’s gonna’ happen again sometime soon, Frank, from everything I’ve heard. Don’t tell me you’re not prepared.” R.J. laughed into the mike.
“Damn, Boy, I’m prepared for anything,” Franks booming voice came back.
“Frank, got to go. Nancy wants to go into town and the kids are running around. By the way, Frank, you’re still invited to Thanksgiving dinner.”
“Sounds good, R.J. I’ll bring a turkey.”
“Over and out,” R.J. replied as he clicked off the radio
That R.J. is a neat youngster, Frank thought to himself as he started cleaning his 50-Cal black powder muzzleloader. “Gonna’ need this in tip top shape,” Frank said aloud, admiring the rifle.
Born in rural Iowa in 1952 Frank had seen it all. Frank’s father, a World War Two veteran, had married his sweet heart, right out of high school. They had five children before he served in the Army and five more after he came back to Iowa after the war. Frank was the youngest of 10 kids born from 1930 to 1952. In fact Frank was an unexpected child but still loved. Frank’s father, having seen many atrocities during WWII had a severe mistrust for world governments and taught all his children how to survive on their own. Frank’s homestead, inherited from his parents never had electricity. There had been no indoor plumbing, no running water except for what the windmill in the back yard provided. There was a small creek to bathe in. The homestead pretty much remained the same since Frank took it over. The only changes were a solar powered generator to use and indoor plumbing.
Frank learned how to shoot, track, hunt, and skin animals as a boy. He felled trees and chopped wood with the best of them. Once he was old enough to work on his own his father put him to work in the gardens around the property. They still exist today. Frank was a large child and got bigger through his teen years working on the property. Most of his older siblings had moved on. Frank went to school during the week and it was there that Frank got to experience indoor plumbing and electricity. Frank didn’t have many friends being “backwards” according to his peers. He was shunned as most were afraid of him.