Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Prepare for a Tornado

by Ann, Mable, Barbara, Yvonne, Maxine, Margaret, Henry, [Alice]

The one with the glasses is Mary Lou and the one with the red shirt is Mary Jane.  A mother and her granddaughter, what else?  Two old people.  Granddaughters.  Real old.  We should say “elderly” instead of “old”.  We don’t feel old, do we?  Isn’t that the way you feel?  Or do you feel like everyone has passed you by?  They are the same age as me, but how old am I?  I never pay attention to this.  Maybe 73. 

I don’t want to be a salesperson.  [I'm not a salesperson.] You are selling.  Sell it to the people out there.  

[What's the weather like, there, where the two ladies are?]  It’s snowing in there where Mary Lou and Mary Jane are.  The weather out here is hot, but in there, it’s snow. 

The two ladies are friends who just met in the place that they are living.  Whatever they are doing has something to do with their home life.  On the inside, they are doing very well.  No one taking away their privileges, privileges for people who own property there, privileges that outsiders are not accustomed to.  

We didn’t have to sign anything.  I don’t know if the others did or not.  Anyway, everything has to be written and signed for these days. 

They are listening to the radio to see what the forecast is.  It’s going to be bad weather.  Lots of wind.  Lots of rain.  

[What happens next?] 

You better get someplace that you are safe.  They are looking for someplace that they were before, when the bad weather came that day, you’ve got to look out ahead of time when weather... bad is.  They might be discussing a plan, what to do. 

[What do you think about Mary Lou's and Mary Jane's clothing?]

I know someone who sells Alaska shirts.  Is that what you are selling?  

[I'm not selling anything.]

I look kind of wild.  I was almost late.  It wasn’t your fault, it was Grandma’s thought.  Don’t want to miss you.  I darn near did it.  What happened to me?  I went nuts, I guess.  I was too close to myself to get you.  That’s what happened.  I forgot about that mess.  Is that you?  Did you let your hair get white?  I don’t know where I went.  That’s why I look so bad, I guess, because I didn’t come back again. 

[Will they still be sitting there when the bad weather comes?]

The safe place will come and find them.  They’ve been there.  They know where their safety is.  It’s fairly new, and that’s the way they built it.  But one thing is, if you have a car and they are having a tornado, get into the car and put the seatbelt on.  Hide in something, somewhere with your dad.  My father has a cave on his property in east Tennessee.  Go there. 

[Do these ladies have a car?]

The two ladies are discussing the coming of a tornado, how to best handle it before it gets there, in other words, try it.  Hope for the best.  

We didn’t announce it.  We’re sorry aren’t we?  Dad says we need to get out of here in a hurry.  When dad says so, that’s it.  My dad-father took them off.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Tornados can switch the course very rapidly.  

Cars are the safest.  Have the windows closed.  Cars kind of bounce around, you know. 

There’s pink in it, up north.  Did they buy that house?  Maybe the tornado won’t come.  Instead, the tornado goes to Fair Haven, five miles away, to destroy the house there.  

[What does it look like when a tornado destroys a house?]

The wind picked up the old shingles.  Breaks the windows, a lot of glass.  Debris of all kinds.

What’s flying around!

Tree branches, paraphernalia in homes tossed around, everything is all out in the open, that’s all.  You have to make a list, or you forget what you have, unless you see it again. 

[How should the story end?]

With God’s help, Mary Lou and Mary Jane will find their treasures.

[What will they find?]

Photos, important letters that they treasured over the years, and artifacts.  It turns out that they lost old, old photos and bills and jewelry forever.  

[Did they find anything?]

They found a big piece of nothing.

Glasses, clothing that was wet and restored, and a young boy named Teddy who lives in the neighborhood, because they were strong enough to look.  

[What do Mary Lou and Mary Jane do?  What happens to Teddy?]

They found Teddy’s home was damaged.  Teddy’s parents were very jovial when they saw him.  They grabbed him, hugged him, and took him back into the house - what was left of the house. 

They stayed up most of the night and day everywhere.  It took two years to rebuild it.  You can’t ever get out of it without a scratch.  

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