It was 24 years ago this week that Hurricane Andrew touched down in South Florida, leaving a wake of destruction in his path that impacted a generation of South Floridians. "Andrew was one of the most important moments in South Florida's history," said your friend's mother unsolicited on Facebook.
But 24 years later, Andrew has retreated from the spotlight and is no longer the powerful storm of his youth. Now, the embattled gale finds himself in a tropical depression after years of missed opportunities and poor decisions.
In an exclusive interview with the Plantain, Hurricane Andrew detailed his journey from a once great windstorm, heralded by many as the "Storm of the Century", to an unemployed and highly disorganized storm system living back in his childhood bedroom.
"After I hit it big in Miami in 1992, I decided to test my luck and move in a north-westerly direction toward Louisianna with the ultimate forecast of reaching New York," said Andrew. "I never came close."
"Andrew makes a mess out of everything in his path," said his father, Dr. Lawrence Appelbaum. "I told him he would never make it to New York. But he went anyway and ended up calling me and his mother a few days later to pick him up from Tennessee. When we arrived he was covered in blow and in hysterics. He's been living here ever since."
Hurricane Andrew says he is uninterested in following his father's career in orthopedics, or pursuing any career for that matter. "It's not like I can just go and get a normal job at CVS or something. I'm Hurricane Andrew, everyone knows that. It would be humiliating if somebody saw me bagging groceries or working in a hospital or something," said the storm. "I just need to focus on myself a little more before I'm ready to make a comeback and move out."
Although he maintains he is not prepared to join the workforce, Hurricane Andrew acknowledged the strain that his lifestyle has put on his relationship with his father. "We've grown pretty distant, sure, but I know he loves me. I guess I just wish I felt he loved me for something besides just being his son."
When asked to respond, Dr. Appelbaum was dismissive of his son's concerns, noting the large amounts of money he has spent on him over the last two decades and suggesting that his son earn his love and respect by working toward building a future for himself."He was a category 5! A 5! Now what is he? He's nothing."
"Andrew has no ambition. None whatsoever," continued his father. "Not like his sister Sandy, who made landfall in NY where she was accepted to Julliard to study dance. Now she's married to a congressional staffer from Far Rockaway," said Dr. Appelbaum with aplomb. "They wrote about their engagement in the New York Times!" he gushed.
"I know some will look at me and think I've wasted a good opportunity," said Hurricane Andrew. "Maybe I have. But I'm going to get back on my feet. I know it."
When asked where he saw himself in the future, the once great storm smirked to himself before answering: "Anywhere the wind blows."