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Tornado in El Dorado (revised-)

Story ID:5785
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1958
Person:Scared to death Kansas Kid
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Tornado in El Dorado (revised-)

Tornado in El Dorado (revised-)

Tornado in El Dorado (revised-)

The Wind Storm In El Dorado


Once in my life when I was “muy Afraido”
Was in “58” in my home town of El Dorado
As I looked to the West I saw a Tornado
Headed for my home on North Arthur in El Dorado

I saw a bag drop down out of a leaden cloud
As I stared it disappeared
It dropped again and then I saw a funnel
Hit the ground and its ugly head appeared.

As the funnel picked up weeds and dirt
Its shape was well defined
I stood frozen there
A thousand things ran through my mind.

Shirley, I yelled get the kids
And let’s go to the bed
And put them underneath
And cover up our head.

The Holly Wood bed to close to the floor
It was no use to try
Couldn’t put them under it
God, I wanted to cry.

We headed for the car
And as I passed the phone
I grabbed it to tell the operator
About the trouble West of town.

I waited for a second
And hung up the phone
Took her to long to answer
We left the house alone.

Shirley grabbed some bottles for the baby
I got some diapers too
We got into the car
And we drove away skidoo

I looked across the street
And to Nobel Waite I yelled my best
There’s a Tornado coming
I pointed toward the west,

I headed East on Central Avenue
From North Arthur street
Lost sight of the funnel
My heart missed several beats.

My foot was shaking from fear
The Chevy motor didn’t know what to do
The 54 Chevy was jerking
But that Chevy pulled us through

We headed to 623 South Topeka
In a southerly direction
They had a cave that was underground
Where we could get protection

We jumped out of the car at the LAWRENCE RESIDENCE
For the cave door we ran
Jay and Don Lawrence opened it for us
And we joined the clan.

Nina Lawrence, Iris and Ruth Ann Lawrence
With others were in this dusty cave
Looked like a room in the Waldorf Astoria to me
At last we were saved.

Jay and Don were holding down the cave door
We heard a hitting sound
Jay peeked out and saw wafer thin pieces of ice about the size of your hand
Lying on the ground

Suddenly it got so quiet you could hear a feather drop a mile away
Then this terrible roar
Passing over our heads some one yelled, “here it comes”
Don and Jay clung to the door.

Jay and Don were good-sized men
Hanging on for dear life
That door bounced and shook
They hung on through the strife.

Then it got quiet once more
And the sirens began to sound
Police and ambulances
Were heading south west of town.

When we came out of the cave
Lying on the ground
Storm windows, and screen doors
Were lying all around.

We headed home reluctantly
Expecting to see the worst
Our home strewn all around
These thoughts in our mind did burst.

We turned on North Arthur
There was our home, untouched
Not a shingle was ruffled
Seemed like too much.

We opened the door
And put the kids on the bed, and sighed
Turned and hugged each other
And then we both stood there and cried.

We knelt and said a prayer
We thanked the Lord for he did save
Shirley and I and also the kids.
And our friends in that dusty cave.

Many lives were lost that day
Many homes were trashed
Many were darn lucky
Many dreams were smashed.

Jay’s home suffered a lot of damage
I never heard him gripe
He grabbed a hammer and nails
And went on with his life.

Funny how the Lawrence’s are always in my life
Through thick and thin
Good news, bad news
And some troubles we’ve been in.

It’s so sad that Mother Nature
Has to act this way
There is nothing we can do
But on our knees we pray.

I’m not overly religious man
But I have to say
That in my short life
I’ve not been afraid to pray. Monte Manka-06-18-2006