Yesterday, Gary England celebrated his 40-year anniversary at Channel 9. Think about that for a second. When Gary started keeping people advised and telling them to take tornado per’cautions, Richard Nixon was president, gasoline cost 55-cents a gallon and Oklahoma was ran by racist Democrats. Yeah, a lot has changed in 40-years.
Anyway, Channel 9 went all out to honor Lord England yesterday. They aired several tribute videos, a blooper reel and everyone ate cake in the break room. At the end of it all, Channel 9 announced that our Severe Weather Savior had signed a new contract. That probably explains why all the church bells rang and tornado sirens went off around 10:10pm.
After all the fan fair and pageantry, it was time for Gary to do what Zuess, God and the Griffin family had chosen him to do: Give the weather forecast. When he did, this happened:
Last week, Tony and I grabbed Cardboard Jim Traber and took a pilgrimage to Seiling, Oklahoma for Gary England Day. The purpose of the pilgrimage was to celebrate and honor the birthday of our severe weather savior Gary England. Specifically, we wanted to:
1. Pay tribute to Lord England by offering him melted hail from the Great Hailstorm of 2010 at the Seiling tornado siren.
2. Search for lost relics, including the Holy Gentner of Apache, the original script to Twister, and Gary’s first five-day forecast.
3. Sacrifice a lamb, virgin or Ogle Brother at the Seiling Mill or Bivens Drug.
Well, since we couldn’t find a virgin or lamb anywhere in Oklahoma City, and Kelly Ogle is a surprisingly strong man who can frighteningly rip through a net with ease, we weren’t able to accomplish item number 3. But the other ones, well, continue reading.
Happy Gary England Day. We hope the weather in your area is calm and treating you well.
On this day in 1939, Gary England, our holy chief meteorologist and severe weather savior, was born in a small barn in Seiling, Oklahoma. Upon his birth, thunder rumbled and lightning struck throughout the Sooner state. Seeing this as a sign that the chosen meteorologist had entered our mortal world, three wise men traveled to Seiling on horseback, bringing with them a thermometer, small weather balloon and bag of ice melt as gifts for the young weather deity.
At the age of only seven, Gary England forecast his first twister during the famed Tinker Air Force Base Tornado Outbreak of 1948. His advanced notification system saved several hundred lives. In 1952, Gary performed the first of what would be known as the “Kay County Miracles” by accurately predicting the summer time high temperatures and dew points for 24 consecutive days in Blackwell, Oklahoma. During the 1957 prairie blizzard that struck the midwest, Gary rescued hundreds of stranded motorists while wearing only gardening clogs.
By the time 1963 rolled around, Gary was known throughout underground (and outlawed) meteorological sects as the “chosen one.” He would travel from small town to small town, teaching people the art of tornado “per’cautions” in late-night, bonfire revivals. At the Carnegie State Fair in 1971, Gary fought off a large squall line with only a sword and shield. This heroic act of bravery was noticed by the powers that be at KWTV Channel 9, and by early 1972, Gary was brought in as a meteorologist. The rest, as they (especially Al Eschbach) say, is history.
To pay tribute and honor our Holy Chief Meteorologist, Tony and I (along with Cardboard Jim Traber) will be making our first ever pilgrimage to Seiling, Oklahoma. On this trip, we will make an offering of rainwater and hail from the Great Hail Storm of 2010 at the town’s tornado siren. We will also search for ancient lost relics, including the Holy Gentner of Apache, the original script to Twister, and Gary’s first five-day forecast. It should be an amazing trip.
We will post pictures from our excursion next week on the site, but you can tag along with us by following our journey on Twitter (@TheLostOgle) or Facebook (Facebook/LostOgle). We’ll be classing it up very nice in a new Touareg provided by Fowler Volkswagen of Norman. Did you know Touaregs are built with a titanium shell that is resistant to hail, tree limbs and crazy girlfriends? Well, they are not, but after we sprinkle dirt from the ground where Gary England was born over the hood, I bet ours will be.
Anyway, before this gets any weirder, let’s recite the “Ode to Gary England” poem that we wrote last January and get along with our day:
See that picture above? That’s Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton posing in one of our “I TORNADO Gary England‘ t-shirts. No offense to the guys in the Sticky Stranglets, but she looks way better than you all do.
In case you’re not aware, we came up with the idea for the shirt a few years ago to honor our state’s all mighty and most powerful severe weather deity. We then pitched the idea (and this one) to Tree and Leaf Apparel. Because they are cool guys (and scared of hail), they designed, printed and started selling the shirt for us. Since then, we’ve probably sold a couple hundred of the rags. And now thanks to that photo, we’re probably going to sell a couple hundred more.
Overall, the Facebook comment threads are enjoyable. Most people get the humor and enjoy the shirt, but other people, well, let’s just say the whole concept may be over their heads. You know these folks. They see the world in black and white, are unable to form unique or abstract thoughts, and vote Republican in every election. They also leave comments on YouTube videos. Yucky, huh?
Anyway, now that the shirt is going mainstream, we better come up with some other t-shirt ideas. Not to sound like a hipster or anything, but the coolness of a t-shirt drops a couple of levels when the people who enjoy Mike and Molly, drive PT Cruisers, and fall or that damn Back to the Future hoax every couple of months start wearing it. Before you know it, we may have to start printing them on a Hanes Beefy Tee. When that happens, hopefully Gary England will shoot us down with lightning and put us out of our misery.
For almost a year now, Matt Mahler has held the Oklahoma City Severe Weather Dong Championship belt with the glorious picture above.
Well, it looks like Mahler’s title may be in jeopardy. Earlier today, someone posted the following picture on our Facebook wall. It’s pretty good:
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