Pat Shingleton: "Hurricanes and Onions..."
Hurricane Audrey made landfall on the Texas-Louisiana border on July 26, 1957. There are numerous hurricane survival stories, here's one of interest. On August 13, 1766, a powerful hurricane leveled the tiny village of Trois-Islets on the island of Martinique. Joseph-Gaspard Tascher was one of the island's wealthy planters and suffered total financial ruin from the devastating storm. In dire straits, he did what many attempted in those days; marrying their offspring into money. After the storm, his young daughter, Marie Josephine Rose, returned to France and married an army officer, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794. Two years later she married another officer, with a better head on his shoulders. Her second husband crowned himself in 1804 and she became Empress Josephine of France, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Also, possibly of interest? There's an old expression, "He really knows his onions." It's a compliment to a person who is savvy in business situations. Cromnyomancy is an old tradition where people would forecast the weather with onions. During the 12 days of Christmas, French farmers would follow a carefully prescribed ritual to determine what the weather would be like for the next 12 months, referred to as " Les jours des lots" or "the days of fate." On Christmas Day, 12 onions were placed in a row with a pinch of salt on top. From left to right, the onions represented the months of the year. On January 6, or Epiphany, the onions were checked. If the onion was wet, the month would be wet, if the salt on the top was intact, it would be dry.