Got My Locs on Hard Hat Goin' to War


My dad survived the great tornado of '73 (scroll to bottom).

He remembers standing at the back door with Mamo, watching the weather. When their shirts started sucking away from their bodies and toward the storm, they knew it was time to head for the basement.

My grandparents' home didn't get damaged and they were all safe. But it put the scare into them.

When we were kids, my dad would make us put on shoes if there was threat of a tornado. Sandals wouldn't work. They'd be no good if we ended up having to walk over splintery wood, nails and broken glass.

And to this day, I still put on a pair of shoes if I think I may need to take shelter. See, Dad? I listen now and then!

Last night, a big tornado played "connect the dots" with a few small towns out west. It was a long night of watching the weather.

I knew things were going to be bad when the storm spotters sounded scared. They usually sound excited.

The town of Greensburg looks like it's demolished. A whole wing of the hospital was destroyed. Homes were flattened.

As a result, I'm taking the storm forcast for today seriously. We're right on the edge of the high-risk area of the map. And things are turning out just as bad, if not worse.

As I was driving to work today, I realized I put on flip-flops. Those would be no good in bad weather! I'd be worthless at my new job.

Oh you didn't know about my new job? I guess it's not a new job, really. Just new responsibilities.

We had a tornado drill one day and we all crammed into a room in the back. I was talkingn to a co-worker, Cassie, who was standing beside me. I looked up to see my Team Lead, Angela, looking straight at me. Then she came walking up to us.

I thought I was in trouble. You know how paranoid I am.

"She'll do it. Give it to her," she said.

Cassie was our Safety Monitor. The job requires the monitor to search for everyone in the event of an emergency. They have to herd the stray cattle in.

Cassie has asthma. She got to thinking that if we had a fire, she probably wouldn't last long in the smoke. So they gave the job to me.

She gave me a flashlight, a bright orange vest and a hard hat.

That's right. Savor that picture in your head. Me in a hard hat. But don't forget the orange mesh vest!

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