I never forgot his post from Joplin, a year ago

Blogfriend Duane at The Erstwhile Conservative was in Joplin last year when that 100-year tornado hit. He lives there with his family. His post from the day after began . . .

Sunday evening, before the onset of the cruel aftershocks that continue to pummel our devastated city with remorseless storms and rescue-impeding rains, my youngest son and I undertook a journey to a destination he—a high school student and baseball player—seemed desperate to see.

He wanted to go to his school

It’s a gorgeous bit of writing and so deeply felt. Read it all and bear witness.

15 responses to “I never forgot his post from Joplin, a year ago

  1. In a way, they were lucky, lucky it happened to them. People mostly never see this level of destruction and, hence, never get the chance to learn the lessons it carries.

    I remember cleaning up after Andrew. I’ll remember those lessons till I die and am better, I think, for having learned them.


    • Did you read it all? Very touching.

      Also, I think you’re Forrest Gump. . .


      • No, but Forrest Gump had the luck and privilege to become well educated in and by life and the wisdom to actually learn the lessons. I’ve had some of that luck and privilege; I just don’t – not have writers to create me – have that level of wisdom.

        And yes, I read the whole thing. It was very moving.


  2. Dittos Moe. Oh, wrong ideology. Sorry.


  3. Lesson Jonolan?

    Do you mean that: life is tenouous and can end in the snap of finger; everyday you’re alive is a good day; much of what we think of as disasters are more like inconveniences; or that people are whiners and don’t apprciate what they have?

    We live in a layer of air about proportionately to the earth like a layer of water on an orange, through the grace of God, I believe. Any number of disasters can end the existence of thousand, even all humanity.

    I’ve never had to clean up a mass disater, but that’s the lesson I would draw.

    Sign me curious.


    • And good lesson they are.

      There’s also the lesson that material stuff doesn’t matter that much, even when previously given the weight of sentiment.

      And there’s the big, to mind at least, lesson that going out in the wreckage, at some risk to life and limb, is a worthy cost to pay to check on something or someone that you care about – even if it’s actually just material stuff because it DID carry the weight of sentiment and was the locus for community.


  4. It was a misfired joke. Dittos is a common way of piling on the hapless liberal target of the day by Mr. Limbaugh of Palmbeach’s numerous callers.

    I echoed the ‘dittos’, but suggested in a faux faux pau that your blog clearly isn’t a kindred ideolgical forum to that of our friend in Palm Beach.

    The humor was apparently not apparent. Apologies.


  5. Clarification issued, and like on a bad sitcom: laughter ensues.


  6. Thank you, Moe, for the kind words.

    President Obama’s speech tonight to Joplin High School graduates was fantastic. I wish I could have been there (my son is only a junior), but had to settle for local TV coverage. I saw several Obama-haters in the crowd, but, hey, why let ideology trump history?

    Thanks again,
    Duane Graham


  7. Thanks for the flashback … and I recall that post … which was worth revisiting.


  8. I saw a report on PBS about Joplin a year later. If you missed it, here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/jan-june12/joplin_05-22.html


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