Thursday, May 31, 2012

Missing Big News Twenty seven years ago, F5 tornadoes hit this area on a Friday evening. As you can see from this video, they displayed power. David and I resided in Norwich, Connecticut at the time. I believe we were enjoying some fine weather, anyways in the days before twenty four hour news, internet with face book and twitter, we had not heard of the tornadoes.
I sat in church as prayers were offered for the tornado victims in Ohio and Pennsylvania. I prayed, feeling sorry, but detached. The service continued with no more thought about it.
On my arrival home, David showed me the front page of the Norwich Bulletin. A teen age girl sat holding a bunny. "Yeh, that's a cute picture," I intoned, not paying attention to why it was on the front page.
"She's in Wheatland," David insisted I look more at it.
I glanced again, indifferent. So why is a girl from Wheatland holding a rabbit on the front page of the local paper?
"Look again. She doesn't have a house behind her. It was blown away in a tornado," David was excited now.
"Oh, that Ohio and Pennsylvania!"
Wheatland's not far from West Middlesex. My mind raced as I hurriedly dialed my parents. The line was busy. Then I couldn't get through. I got nervous. The next best thing- call California. I called my sister, who had the low down on what happened because she watched the news Saturday evening and phoned home to our parents( who were fine) and her in-laws in Farrell, even closer to Wheatland.
Our families were fine. No damage. But the stories. Mom and Dad, earlier on that day had taken a trip to Valley View, the department store. The road was the path of the tornado.
The Galicia's, in a wedding reception at the Radison, thought the lights turned off for a romantic, candle lit feel.
The tornado billowed straight east toward the motel, then jigged north before the motel's roof was blown off. The path blazed through the empty area between two motels to the Tam O' Shanter golf course.
Ray's in-laws raced ahead of the tornado returning Phillip to his parents in New Brighton, PA, as Andrew had come home after his first week alive. The roads they took then were the paths of the tornadoes. One also attacked the New Brighton area.
Five years after, back in PA, I enjoyed a hot May, but the ones who lived through one of the worst weather times, noted it was hot like that when the tornado hit. Their solemness took the fun out of the sun.
I still hear stories from the Niles patients. This event is not forgotten.
I think my parents didn't call, because they were OK and it was over. I couldn't do anything about it. They shielded me a lot, I think when I lived away. I still wanted to somehow go home and help, but that wasn't plausible. I had a PA license, but I wouldn't have known the way around the hospital. We just feel so helpless at times like these. The best thing we can do is what that man in Norwich United Methodist Church did, offer up prayers.
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