S.S.  Matthews
  • S.S. Matthews

  • Born: in Akron, The United States.

  • Description: In September of 1960, from the 2nd to the 11th Hurricane Donna consistently maintained maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and still holds that record. For most of that time she busily battered the Atlantic east coast of the continental US. At the tender age of 7 years, I’d been living just inland of the barrier of Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach in Florida for a total of 3 months. Accustomed to the occasional Ohio blizzard, I remember sneaking outside to get a closer look at Donna's furious nature. Seeing the pines take a sudden 45 to 60 degree bend about fifteen to twenty feet up from the ground was, well Awesome!

    Since then I’ve seen other storms attempt to parallel her ferocity. I’ve seen trees twisted into corkscrews by the dozen from the torque of tornados spawned, sliding glass doors bowed 12"s inwards by winds of 135mph, strained to the point of shattering; surf so high it looked like a range of mountains on the move and streets shingled with roof-tops. There are many more disaster stories, far worse than what I’ve seen, but that really isn’t my point.

    I grew up surfing those storms, starring into their raging faces and riding their unpredictable waves. As time went by I eased back and turned my attention to fishing her surf, her depths, playing and living at her doorstep while teaching my children and then grandchildren to respect her powerful mien.

    Life by the ocean is what I choose. For all her temperamental tantrums; and for all the very close calls I have survived while within her grasp, I always come back to her. She serves as a source of endless inspiration for my poetry, for she is the mother of my youth, my mistress and constant companion.

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