The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

THE WEATHER PROPHET

It was my habit, when we had work in progress at any of the Air Bases, to try to visit the site at regular intervals, not because I was distrustful of our Foremen, but because I knew, from past experience, what a mess some of the Corps personal could make of a simple problem that a Job Foremen should not be expected to straighten out.

It was on one of those visits to the Kincheloe Air Force Base, in the very early spring, that I ran into a terrible Blizzard, about the time that I reached the Straits of Mackinaw. By the time that I reached the Kinross exit, from Interstate 75, the off ramp was completely blocked with snow, so I kept on going until I got to the point where the North bound on ramp entered, and backed up the ramp, in order to get off the Expressway.

Our crew kept their trucks in a filling station at this Interchange and made their headquarters in a Tavern, right next door. It was late in the afternoon, when I arrived, so I was lucky to find them all, in their office. It may sound strange to some people, but there are times when a lot of problems can be solved, over a couple of beers, in the evening, without tying up the entire crew, the next day.

Our Foreman, Miles Beatty, and I, got our problems all taken care of and Miles pointed out an old Indian gentleman, sitting all alone, over in one corner of the Tavern. He said that old Indian was the weather vane for the entire area. It was said, and Miles contended that it could be proven, by past records, that the old boy would never come out of the woods until it was Spring. Therefore, when he was seen, in town, you could be assured that it was spring and there would be no more snow. Poor old fellow, there he was, snowed out and couldn't get back to his Teepee.

That reminds me of the Indian, up in Ontario, that was always consulted, by the city fishermen, before they went out for the day. On this particular occasion some very smart individuals from Detroit, most all of the really smart ones came from Detroit, asked him if it was going to rain that day and he replied, "don't know, Radio's busted."

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