Tag Archives: Joplin

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.

CNN is gone, but Joplin is still there

Still there and still trying to cope. Duane at The Joplin Globe posted this today.

Here’s the way it works these days in Joplin:

In the morning, I teared up over an obituary in Thursday’s Joplin Globe.  It was an obituary of a tornado victim, a nine-year-old little boy who, like one of my own once-nine-year-old little boys, loved Pokemon and had “the dirt and scrapes” that come with being a nine-year-old little boy.

I later went to Target to pick up a few things. I ran into the father of a boy I coached ten years ago, a boy who now works at my favorite Joplin restaurant and has a wife and two kids. They lived in the apartments by Dillon’s Market on 20th Street.  Lost everything. No renter’s insurance because they had little left over to spend on such “luxuries.”  Remember, he works at a local restaurant.  Just getting started.

The father said he was grateful for FEMA, who is helping out his son.  FEMA, just one voice of the American people in this tragedy.  Yes, I said, I’m thankful for FEMA, too.

It turns out that the father of the boy I coached so long ago was also a coach these days.  He coached soccer for a Christian youth group.  He had just attended the funeral of a nine-year-old little boy he coached, a boy who played his last soccer game the Saturday before life changed in Joplin.  A little boy whose obituary I read in the Joplin Globe.

In the aisle, in the middle of the store, we shared some tears.  Said goodbye.

Blogfriend in Joplin

Some of you are familiar with Duane Graham, a frequent commenter here, who blogs at The Joplin Globe as The Erstwhile Conservative. Joplin – which yesterday took a terrrible beating and is today an open wound.

He writes tonight about a walk he took with his son shortly after the tornado.

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. . . .

Just an hour after the historic tornado hit, we began our walk to Joplin High School. We stepped over thick, once-pulsating power lines; we listened to a natural gas main hiss an awful hiss as it filled the air with that unmistakable odor and imminent danger;  we stepped on and over shards of civilization—the wood, glass, and other fabric that make up a life-home; we passed by pummeled, twisted sheet metal no longer confined to driveways or cowering in garages, but like wildly wounded or dead tin soldiers on some strange and dreadful battlefield . . .  we walked through the rubble—how terrible it seems to call it that—and we watched the landscape, once so familiar, disorient us with its new unfamiliarity, the product of an appalling but natural disregard for our pattern-seeking and sense-making needs as human beings. . . .

To the west, the houses were gone.  The houses whose windows and roofs had been the targets of years of foul balls, duds bounding off the bats of too-hopeful Major League aspirants. Those familiar houses were gone.  All of them, and all behind them, and behind them. 

And to the south, all gone.  And to the east.