Storm stories

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There are numerous photos that align the walls inside the clubhouse at Beutler Brothers Arena in Elk City, Okla.

There was a single image that was most memorable to me: With the action taking place inside the arena, the photographer also captured a tornado in the background. Yes, I understand that weather rarely stops a rodeo – the show must go on – but there was something haunting in the shot.

I’m often reminded of that photograph during tornado season, and outbreaks like the one friends in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska are experiencing today bring that image to life in my mind’s eye.

I’m fascinated by tornadoes, yet I’m also leery of them. I’ve seen them pass in close proximity and heard (and felt) them pass overhead. I’ve driven through the rubble of Greensburg, Kan., after the 2007 storm and have passed through what used to be Pincher, Okla. Devastation is the only word to be used in both those cases.

But like that image, I realize the ride must continue. I pray for those who are in the paths of the storms and hope my friends and family are unscathed today.


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