Courier-Post columnist Danny Henley shares about a colorful consolation prize that one had to see to believe.
To the 2014 seniors of Hannibal High School who graduated last Thursday night I offer my condolences since their commencement had to take place inside Korf Gym, rather than outside at Porter Stadium. A few bursts of rain late in the afternoon, plus the threat of more precipitation, gave school district officials no choice but to move the program indoors.
Call me a card-carrying optimist if you will, but there was a consolation prize that accompanied the late-day rainfall. It came in the form of a rainbow.
I could have missed the colorful event since Thursday night I was inside the Courier-Post newsroom working on the Friday edition. And while the newsroom has windows, when the blinds are closed, as they were that evening, it’s difficult to discern whether it’s daytime or nighttime, let alone what the weather is doing.
Around 8 p.m. the telephone at my desk rang. Looking down at the caller ID I immediately recognized my home phone number. Since my wife, Nancy, and daughter, Anna, typically don’t call me when I’m down at work, I knew something was up.
The voice on the other end of the phone belonged to my bride. With a tone in her voice that’s typically reserved for Christmas or a birthday, when you’re handed a much-desired gift, Nancy told me I needed to hustle outside and check out the rainbow.
After thanking my spouse for her thoughtful “heads up,” I hung up the phone and grabbed my work camera, whose battery had been showing signs of needing a re-charge for days.
I had hardly been outside 30 seconds when I heard the familiar voices of two of our pressmen. They, too, had seen the rainbow and thought that I might like taking photos of it. They were right.
After adjusting the camera’s settings to get the most bang for my buck in the short amount of time I anticipated having, I went to work (translate “work” to “having fun.”)
Stepping out into Third Street, I snapped photos of a leg of the rainbow that appeared to be coming down somewhere on the South Side.
Next I hustled down to North Main and took more shots of the rainbow over South Main buildings. I then scurried over to Broadway and lined up the rainbow with the Mark Twain Hotel sign. I also shot the eastern leg of the rainbow with flags in the foreground.
I wasn’t the only one out taking advantage of the Kodak moment, or in my case, Canon moment. By the flood wall a man was trying to line his wife up, so a leg of the rainbow was behind her. A short distance away at the top of the floodwall, another person, with their dog at their side, appeared to be taking photos, too.
I toyed with the idea of trying to snap a photo of the individual photographing the rainbow from atop the floodwall. But with the person’s dog far more interested in me than anything else, I scrapped that idea.
As I stood in Broadway snapping photos, two cars slowed down and their occupants, whom I didn’t know, paused to comment about how beautiful the spectacle in the sky was. While they represented vastly different age demographics, the rainbow still appealed to them.
You may or may not have noted that to this point I haven’t really attempted to describe in detail this rainbow. Most people have a mental image of what a rainbow looks like. The big difference from one rainbow to the next is how vibrant the color is. Even though I will at times try to paint pictures with words, I know in regard to this rainbow I wouldn’t do it justice.
And, yes, I did have some photos turn out that night. And while a picture is said to be worth 1,000 words, none of my images did justice to a rainbow that stretched from horizon to horizon and was accompanied by a fainter partner.
To fully appreciate the color that stretched across the sky last Thursday evening, you simply had to see it for yourself.