A chat with the star of Bozeman’s thunderstorm-tubing video

June 29 Thunderstorm
A photo of the June 29 thunderstorm that brought torrential rain to Bozeman. (Photo by Jay Huber on Facebook).
Saturday evening’s thunderstorm brought sheets of lashing rain to most of Bozeman, downing small branches, partially flooding city streets and making fools of those of us who left car windows open even a tiny crack.

It also brought out the chroniclers among us. Many, many people took to the social networks during and after the storm to share photos and videos of the downpour. A lot of you graciously shared your photos with us at the Chronicle on Facebook.

One such sharer was Kari Andersen, who sent us a video she took from her home along 11th Avenue near the high school during the height of the storm.

This is what she shared.

Judging by the number of times it’s been liked, commented upon and re-shared, the odds are quite a few of you have seen it already.

Kari said it started when she received a call from her husband, who was driving down the street. He had seen the man on the tube and wanted to let Andersen know the tubist was coming.

“I have no idea who he was,” Andersen said via Facebook. “He was just hooting and hollering and having a great time.”

The mystery must have been too much, because Andersen did a little Facebook detective work and shared the results with this reporter, who immediately dashed off a message to one Todd Hoberecht of Bozeman.

I spoke by phone with Hoberecht on Sunday, who seemed tickled to be about most viral thing to hit the Bozeman social networks in some time.

“I was having a terrible day,” said Hoberecht, a house painter and formerly a production coordinator fo the Ellen Theater. “The storm actually reflected the mood I was in.”

Hoberecht, also a former pastor, said he was out for a walk in the rain to reflect on things. Feeling the water slapping at his legs, he had a sudden inspiration.

“I always remembered: When things are bad, the best thing to do is just ‘wahoo’ and paddle hard,” he said. “I ran home and just got my inner tube and went for it.”

Hoberecht said he made about four runs down the flooded street, gaining cheers, honks, waves and dousings from passing cars.

Andersen’s video, originally posted to Facebook, has received almost 750 re-shares from her personal page as of this writing and 374 likes. Our re-shared version on the BDC page has been re-shared 99 times and has been seen by more than 11,000 people.

Hoberecht said he’s gotten quite a few social pats on the back for his antics, which also had the added benefit of brightening his day and mood totally.

“If life gives you rain, you might as well go tubing.”