Sunday, December 4, 2011
Once upon a time, the Santa Ana winds were like the Indians in an old John Ford Western. 30 Indians would descend and surround a wagon train, whoop it up, then for no apparent reason, race up the hill and out of frame.
Time for pioneer ladies to wipe the dirt from a child's face and the menfolk to do the menfolk things -- fix a wagonwheel or something. Then you'd see 300 or 3000 Indians biding their time at the top of the ridge.
That was your father's Santa Ana -- a wind that would blow down the mountains, wreak some havok, then inhale mightily back up the San Gabriels, to sit for awhile, discuss evil deeds in deep voices, before the grand exhale.
If last week is any indication, the wind has moved beyond strategic battles; once it arrives, it won't leave; it won't stop to strike a pose, hold a powwow and rest the horses. It will just come down the hill. Down and down the hill, relentlessly.
No time for you to boil water and plenty of it, tether the cow, check your email.
Five days without heat, light, phone, communication.
And the Cavalry? We still have one, of sorts. It will swoop in to rescue the towns. Not in alphabetical order.