(Previously published March, 2016 as Tetanus Shots And Water Moccasins)
Late May, 1953
One day it started to rain—and rain—and rain. Then the wind blew in from the south and the waters started to rise. Soon, for those of us living out of town, the two roads into Westlake were impassable. A section of both Westwood Road and Miller Avenue (aka Hwy. 378) looked like a lake, isolating everything north of John Stine Road from the town of Westlake.
What a dilemma. That meant people like my dad and Mr. George and Mr. McGuire were cut off from their jobs at Firestone. My grandmother and my mother were—horror of horrors—cut off from Rue’s Store. I was cut off from my job at Budge’s Drugstore, but my friend, Mozelle, solved that by inviting me to stay at her house so I could walk down the street to the drugstore.
The intrepid citizens of Westlake, however, didn’t sit around bemoaning their fate. Several motorboats were brought to the two “lakes” to act as ferries. Cars were parked on either side to accommodate the ferry passengers. Volunteers ran the boats and drove the cars. Two-car families found themselves luckier than those with only one. If they were able to get one of their cars to the south side before the waters got too high they had transportation on both sides—just a short boat ride away.Continue Reading