Posted: Sep 19, 2020 / 07:14 AM EDTUpdated: Sep 19, 2020 / 07:50 AM EDT
An overall dry weather pattern continues for West Michigan and for most of the U.S. The map above is the total rainfall forecast over the next week from the Weather Prediction Center. They give W. Michigan a chance of a light shower next midweek (Wed. or Thu.) and even that is iffy. The bulk of the rain falls in the South from Tropical Storm Beta (we’re now going through the Greek alphabet) and in the Pacific NW, where the rain and the cooler pattern will help firefighters.
Here’s U.S. wildfire statistics to date. Note that this year, the U.S. has a LOWER than average number of wildfires (10-year average) and the number of acres burned is only 6th highest in the last 11 years. While there have been some catastrophic fires in the Far West, overall the number of fires and the number of acres burned is close to average.
Yesterday (Fri. the 18th) was the birthday of the U.S. Air Force. Some interesting facts about the Air Force. Only 4% of U.S. Air Force personnel are pilots. Among those who have served in the Air Force are Jimmy Stewart (a distinguished pilot), Morgan Freeman (served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of Airman 1st Class) and Chuck Norris (an air policeman who served in Korea- where he started training in martial arts). Air Force One is not the name of a particular plane, it’s the name of the plane carrying the (current) President.
My father was in the Army Air Corps during WWII. There is a medley of U.S. military branch songs that is often played at band concerts. Veterans of each branch of the service stand when their song comes up in the medley. Once when I was we were at a band concert with my father (quite the musician I might add), my father didn’t stand for the Air Force song and I asked why. He said that he got out of the Air Corps before they split from the Army in 1947 and that he was 100% army.
I also asked him why he enlisted in the Army in 1940. He said that he knew we’d be at war with Hitler (“a maniac like Napolean who wanted to conquer the world”). He liked ships and was a good swimmer and he said he thought about joining the Navy or Coast Guard (he used to rent boats on Lake Michigan), but that he felt a war against Germany would be mainly a ground war. My father’s family was 100% Luxembourger. I think I’ve mentioned this, but my father’s brother, Felix – also joined the Army. Felix was the top motorcycle mechanic in Chicago (worked for Gus’s) and he was sent to India to work with the Brits., where they were running supplies through the jungles with motorcycles. I believe he lived in India for over two years. People would ask Felix what he did during the war and he’d reply (“I learned how to ride an elephant”).