Pat Shingleton: "Lightning and Rhubarb..."
To accompany the dangerous and deadly storms in the Ruston, lightning was once again popping Thursday. The thickness of a lightning strike is believed to be the width of a pencil which could verify a clean, round hole that pierced a window pane in Padua, Italy in 1772.
A photograph in Strand Magazine from 1895 displayed a glass tumbler that was perfectly fractured in half by a lightning strike. In 1672, residents of Zimitz, Switzerland collected eighteen carts of dead fish after a strike at a nearby lake.
During World War II lightning struck the zipper of a soldier’s sleeping bag, welding him into the bag. Many victims of lightning strikes lose garments such as shoes because of vapor explosion as body sweat is converted to steam. Gardeners are "putting-in-the-gardens."
In western Pennsylvania, my grandfather would “turn-over” the garden with a shovel until he was convinced to let Mr. Hollenbeck “disc it up” with his tractor. Vivid memories mom preparing for one of her first crops of the season – rhubarb, followed by leaf lettuce, beans, tomatoes and sweet corn that should be “knee high by the Fourth of July.”
Once she recently removed ground cover from her rhubarb it was harvest time. Back then, she was the sole provider of rhubarb for the produce manager at the local Giant Eagle who paid her "six bucks per pound." Sylvia Weatherspoon verifies her rhubarb pie with strawberries is the absolute best.