Thursday, July 21, 2011

Haboob or Not to Haboob

July 21, 2011

Finishing up our September issue of True West today. Big weekend in Prescott coming up. Speaking at the reopening of the Phippen Museum on Friday night, and then I'll be in downtown Prescott all day Saturday for the Shady Ladies festival and shootout. Will be nice to get out of the heat (from 110 down to a chilly 101, ha).

Yesterday I whipped out a couple illustrations for a feature we are doing on "Size Matters". Fred Nolan gave me the stats on several Lincoln County Warriors, including Dirty Dave Rudabaugh at 5' 7":

No doubt by now you've seen the massive Haboob-dust storm images from our area. We had our second massive dust front invade on Monday night. I saw it sweep around the Seven Sisters on my way home at about six p.m. Here's a shot taken by my neighbor Tom Augherton as he drove home on Spur Cross Road:

Turned everything grayish-brown, but it wasn't as windy as some, just kind of settled, or squatted, on the landscape. Much angst in the Republic the past week on the new, to us, usage of the term "haboob" as a description of these storms. To be fair, "monsoon" was also a new description to us old timers. I never heard the term growing up, and it wasn't until the seventies or eighties that the term gained wide usage. Of course, both terms migrated from Arab lands so there is a natural tendency by grizzled Zonies to reject the terms. We even did a whole show on KSLX trying to come up with our own word. The winning term "Guacamuggy" was funny in the context of a zany radio show, but it didn't have legs, as they say. Or, I guess you could say it didn't have sand. Ha.

"Choosing the right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug"
—Mark Twain

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