Who’ll Stop the Rain?


Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, September 13, 2018, 1:55 p.m.

By Monte Dutton

Florence is coming to town. In fact, it looks like it’s going through Florence (the city) on the way.

Not Florence Nightingale. Not Aunt Florence. They are both no longer with us. Hurricane Florence is very much alive, but I hope it’s on its deathbed by the time it reaches here.

It’s apparently going to go crazy near the end. The best “prediction” – hah, it wasn’t too long ago it was going to churn up through the Atlantic without hitting land – is that it will hit the North Carolina coast, catch its breath, hemorrhage energy as it staggers across the state line, turn inland (thus bringing havoc to its namesake), wrap around Columbia and totter just a bit west of here before returning to the Tarheel State via the mountains, and leave its crooked path of principal destruction in the Carolinas.


I’m still hopeful it won’t be too bad. If it is, oh, well. Oh, hell.

I had a busy day doing the same thing over and over on Wednesday. Presbyterian College’s football game was first moved to Deland, Fla., home of its opponent, Stetson, and then canceled. Rather than switch location, the high schools switched days. Laurens District High School was first and most decisive. The Raiders’ game against Wade Hampton moved to tonight at 7. Laurens Academy announced it would remain on Friday. I spread the word on GoLaurens.com. Then I got an email asking me to delete this because now the Crusaders were thinking about switching to Friday. Then I got an email that they were going to move to Thursday at 7 p.m. Clinton High School stuck with Friday until about dusk on Wednesday, then moved to Thursday at 7:30.

Multiply this across golf, tennis, volleyball, cross country in varsity, junior varsity and middle schools, not to mention events of other kinds, businesses, classes, and God knows what else.

(Monte Dutton photo)

This meant, for a while, that I was writing about Laurens football tonight and Clinton tomorrow. This is no longer the case for I have the excellent excuse of being unable to be two places at once. It will be a busy night, though, and tomorrow night I won’t know what to do.

Georgia State is at Memphis. Hum, baby. Who am I kidding? The Red Sox are at home against the Mets. The Odd Couple is on TCM. The picture will be frozen on DirecTV.

Uh, don’t tell me … I’ve nothing to do. Then again, my walls have no flowers.

I’ve got new batteries in my flashlights. I hope that storm loses a lot of starch. I hope enough people hang around Clinton to keep the electricity running or restore it without much loss of contact with the outside world.

But I really can’t do that much about it. My house is on a hill. It’s not going to flood. A tornado? Uh, hope not. I hope my only exposure to the wind is hearing it howl.


The Barrie Jarman Adventures (Gabe Whisnant photo)

If you become a patron of mine, you’re supporting writing like this as well as my mostly NASCAR blogs at montedutton.com. If you’ve got a few bucks a month to spare, click here.

Another way I cobble out a living is with my books, a wide variety of which is available for sale here.

(Steven Novak cover)


The new novel, my eighth, is called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Lightning in a Bottle is now available in an audio version, narrated by Jay Harper.


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