Pat Shingleton: "The Light, The Twister, The Storm..."
Before electricity, the keeper of the lighthouse kept the lamps lit using kerosene. The lighthouseman donned a pair of colored goggles, preventing blurred vision from the ignition flash. From the coast of the Pacific Northwest to California, the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic seaboard, more than a thousand lighthouses guided the ships at sea away from coastal tragedy and brought many a captain through gales, tropical storms or fog. Today there is only one manned lighthouse remaining in New England. The other was kept for 65 years by Frank Schubert who manned the Coney Island Lighthouse. He and his dog, Blazer, remained on duty until December 11 of 2003. Schubert died at the age of 88 as the last of the Coast Guard’s civilian lighthouse keepers. From storms to twisters. Tornadoes rarely hit mountainous areas but on June 25, 1960, a twister hit Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, cutting a 100 yard path for two miles. Thirty-four injuries were reported with a destroyed chapel and camping equipment scattered for 14 miles. On June 26, 1969, lightning struck the Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery in Minnesota; 19,000 fish were fried. In Inverness, FL on June 25, '96, a bolt of lightning blasted a backyard clothes-line, sending the charge through a dog leash. Many will remember today's date as Hurricane Audrey gathered momentum in the northwest Gulf of Mexico in 1957.