Monday, August 16, 2010


My daughter asked me what I remember about tornadoes, I have been through quite a few in my time. One I remember was almost over before I realized what was going on. I was working for a local discount store chain as a department manager trying to make ends meet by working that job and also working as the manager of the Ferguson Hills Drive In Theater at night. I was offered a promotion as an assistant manager of a store, The only problem was it was located in Owensboro, Ky. After discussing it with my wife we decided to risk everything and accept the job.

I traveled alone to Owensboro in the spring of 1961 to find a house to rent and become acquainted with the store and town. I checked out the store and scanned the local newspaper for houses for rent. After checking some of them out and deciding on one I thought was nice, I rented it and decided to take a motel room until I could make arrangements to go home and pack for the trip. There wasn't really that much to pack as we had only been married for two years.

As I settled in I fell asleep watching TV. I awoke sometime during the night to the loudest thunderstorm you have ever heard. It was a continual Boom, Boom, Crack, bright lightning flashing through the window. It then began to hail, the hail must have been large as I could hear it pounding on the roof and on the window of my room of the one story motel. It was then that I heard the distant sound  of what I thought was a rumbling thunder in the distance but then it started to get louder and louder in intensity until it grew into the thundering roar of a freight train passing right outside my door, although there were no tracks there. My bed began to shake slightly for just a few seconds as I tried to figure out in my half awake state what was going on. It was then that I heard the sirens blaring and I got out of bed and opened the door. It was very calm outside with no wind at all. There were tree limbs and leaves, paper and the vacancy sign lying right outside my door. My car was just a few feet away but was not damaged. At the time I did not realize that I had just lived through a tornado. I don't remember if there was news on the TV or not, I just remember getting dressed in the morning and going out for breakfast and seeing the damage that the tornado had caused. Within sight of the motel was the huge concrete block screen of the local Drive in Theater laying flat on it's side having been blown over by the wind. There were trees and telephone poles down everywhere,  police car and ambulance sirens blaring as they responded to calls. I consider myself lucky as it must have passed very close to where I lay sleeping.

God is Great, God Is Good
Thank God I'm Alive

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