I was just a kid delivering newspapers along Sunset Road in Montrose, New York when the power went out across the Northeast and parts of Canada back in November 1965.
Lots of Minnesota kids had a similar experience this weekend, as power outages from storms on Friday darkened large parts of the Twin Cities and central Minnesota.
The blackout I experienced as a ten year old was memorable for the way adults reacted – up to that point I had never seen my parents so helpless. And of course every blackout, no matter how long it lasts, reveals to us just how completely we rely on having an uninterrupted power supply. Habits are exposed and we realize how fragile our infrastructure is the moment we flip that switch and nothing happens. It takes a blackout of several hours before I can begin to change my expectations.
Whether you have power or not, I’m guessing you’ve had enough experience with outages to summarize it in three lines – with five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables.
I enter the room
anticipating a light
that does not come on
gets its button pushed again
before I say “duh”
Doesn’t happen without help
on Summer’s first day
Share a Blackout Haiku.