The Pink House on Charles Street – Tornadoes

I remember many stories as a child living in North Texas that involved family and friends and tornadoes.  After Georgia’s funeral we had a gathering of family and friends. I spent a few minutes with Don and Connie and going over a lot of “do you remember when” topics. I wish we had more time together. They both seem like great people.

There was a picture of Georgia and her family on display, from many years ago, standing in front of a house that was across town from where we lived. The house prompted Don’s “do you remember when” the tornado hit the house we were living in. “It tore the end of the house off.” Don did not elaborate much more on the story. I wish I had ask more questions. My mother had told the story in a somewhat different way. She had told me that Robert had put Georgia and the kids in the bathtub with a mattress over them. The tornado had taken most of the roof off the house and knocked out the windows and Robert was still trying to hold the door shut. That’s the version I will always remember.

In those days a lot of people had storm cellars. I remember stories my mother told me about Georgia and her fear of storms. She was ready to go to the storm cellar anytime it clouded up. From what I remember of storm cellars I would rather face the storm than go into the cellar. I still see many storm cellars around older homes, even here in East Texas.

I don’t remember my age, but at some point there was a very bad tornado in McKinney.  My Mom and Dad and I and I think my sister Lois took a trip to McKinney to look at the damage. There was a hospital in McKinney that was severely damaged. I think it may have been a VA hospital. I did a google search and found several references to a tornado in 1948 that did a lot of damage to the city. That would have made me only 4 years old. We would probably have still been in the Cherry Street House at that time.

I mentioned this in one of my other post. One Saturday morning I went to the church office with my Dad. He used to tape a sermon in his office on Saturday mornings that would be broadcast on Sunday morning at a little radio station between Sherman and Dennison. We walked outside, on our way to deliver the tape, and I was quickly rushed back inside by my Dad. There was three tornado funnel in the sky at the same time. I remember a lot of debris in the sky, like a bale of hay and what looked like a chicken coop roof. It was quite dark outside and a very eerie feeling. We ran through the new church building and into the basement of the old building. About 30 minutes later we went back outside and all was well. I don’t remember how much real damage was done but it has always stuck in my mind as a scary day.

To be continued


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