Our property has a vineyard area which in recent years has affectionately become known as Lightning Lane; this is the story of how that section of our property earned its name.
Late one afternoon, a group of contractors were vigorously working on a new vine plantation; it was their job on this day to tie the vines to the supporting trellis wires. As the day wore on, the weather deteriorated to the point where dark ominous clouds blanketed the hilly landscape – inevitably followed by the rumblings of thunder.
As one can imagine, working outdoors at a place of high elevation while clasping wires, is a less than ideal place to be during an electrical storm; shortly after the first thunderclap, it was agreed that vineyard duties on this day had come to a close. The contractors fled the vineyard in an orderly fashion – the only task remaining before getting to safety was to close the vineyard’s gate. Without hesitation, one gentleman offered, walking briskly up to the gate, he stretched out his arm to grasp the steel fence…
And that’s when it happened – an unseen bolt of lighting struck the fence, sending an enormous surge of energy coursing through both the gate and the contractor’s body, fusing him to the gate with an electromagnetic grip.
“Can’t let go of gate!!!…can’t let go of gate!!!”, said the man in a state of horror and utter confusion. With no visible evidence of actual electrification, his colleagues thought his display was a great moment of physical comedy and laughed at his frantic struggle.
The chaos was over in seconds and thankfully the contractor walked away, completely unharmed. That evening, he laughed about the ordeal with his fellow workers over a beer. The vineyard has been given its infamous nickname, not only in honour of the contractor, but to serve as a cautionary reminder of the unpredictability of working on the land – LUCKY MAN!