If you’re a regular listener to WLRN, you might recognize the voice of Phil Latzman, anchor and host at WLRN. Phil also happens to be one of NPR’s go-to guys whenever there’s a hurricane anyplace near South Florida. But it wasn’t always that way.
On the weekend before Hurricane Andrew hit in August 1992, Phil was young, living on South Beach, having a good time, playing basketball, going to the beach and listening to a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Under the Sun tells the stories of South Florida, and there’s no bigger South Florida story in recent history than Hurricane Andrew. Around 5:05 a.m. on August 24th, 1992, Andrew made landfall near the Homestead Air Force Base, and changed lives everywhere.
WLRN-Miami Herald News Reporter, Kenny Malone, spoke to a retired Army Colonel and semi-retired veterinarian, Richard McCormick, about his experience when the Category 5 winds arrived and it was raining cats and dogs.
The radio Geoffrey Philp inherited from his mother.
Credit Geoffrey Philp
Geoffrey Philp and his family were without power for two weeks after Andrew. At some point Geoffrey’s eldest daughter, Anna (6 years old during Andrew), got bored of playing hopscotch and told her dad: “I’m going to make a drawing, you write a poem.”
Credit Geoffrey Philp
“My mother’s hands always fascinated me…it was always her hands, plain and unadorned—a country girl’s hands–that told her life of struggle and triumph.”
As part of our “Remembering Andrew” series, we’re telling small stories about one of the biggest events in South Florida history. The series will run every week until August 24th, the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.
This week we introduce you to Geoffrey Philp. Philp is a poet, novelist, playwright and English professor at Miami-Dade College. He grew up in Jamaica but when Andrew hit, Philp was living in Miami Shores with his wife and three kids.
We’ve been collecting stories about Hurricane Andrew from people around South Florida for our “Remembering Andrew” series. We’ve also been combing through a lot of archival sound and video, including an archive we found called “Voices of Andrew.”
In the months following Hurricane Andrew, graduate students from the University of Miami collected dozens of oral histories. The archive is called “Voices of Andrew.” It’s packed with detailed accounts from all kinds of people: teachers, insurance agents and pastors.