Story of Cyclone April 11, 1957
THE PARIS NEWS. THURSDAY, APRIL 11, .1957 — 5 jjH5E5ssH5Eraj^ra5?.5a5^^ " SPECIAL.-LEE . There are about 15 storm cellars between The Paws News and the Pilgrim hill-top dwelling on Route 1» Detroit. I counted them on the way home from work last Wednesday afternoon. The safety cellars that had the greatest appeal to me were those "down the road a piece" from our house. After last Tuesday, storm cellar stock rose immeasurably with me. The homely hillocks also dominated a memory jig-saw that occupied my mind after the frightening Tuesday catastrophe. Whether to go "down to Aunt Lula's" was the first debate that arose between my parents when the sky was "dark over ii the north and west." The second and more heated argument was when? Daddy was always of the "It'll blow over" school; Mother was a strong contender for "The Lord takes care of those who take care of themselves" theory. After Mother's insisting, dramatically staged with thunder and lightning effects, we grabbed our homework, some apples, and our raincoats and dashed to the Mode T. (Evolution of the automobile changed our modus operandi to a Model A and later to a maroon Chevrolet.) Dodging airborne trees, sheets of tin from barn tops, lawn-furniture and other debris, we made the trip down to Aunt Lula's. Underground routine was fairly standard, except for the guest list, Aunt Lula's husband, Uncle Mack, was always doorman. He greeted us with, "What's it doing now?" as he held the door to admit the drenched newcomers. Aunt Lula, whose ample lap 1 always headed straight for, ac- cspted us with laughing remarks about waiting until it was all over. The mingled odors of damp earth, burning candles, and spoiled canned fruit permeated the dimly- lighted cell. I think I enjoyed the heady scent. What I did not enjoy was the sight of the fruit jars of faded tomatoes cakad with mold caused when the tomatoes "spewed" months — maybe years—previously. Another feature I regarded with horror was the prospect of putting my hand d-»wn on a spider or scorpion. Part of the procedure -was the occasional suggestion of one of the denizens to "take, a look to see what it's doing now." Periodically Uncle Mack heeded the suggestion and ascended the mud and plank steps to the necessary height for unlatching the hook. While rain poured in the oblong aperture, he proceeded high enough to stick his head out and make an observation. Camaraderie outranked tension during those hours of security in time of storm. As standard as the tallow candles and Aunl Lula's laughter were the oft-told tales of the cyclone in '21, the twister that blew away the "big house," and the time the mules ran away when the wagon was struck by lightning. Two apples, a peanut-butter candy stick and several arithmetic problems later, I was snuggled into Aunt Lula's soft lap fast asleep. The torture of the all-clear sig- nai was unbearable. Like a bear cub, I could have slept there all winter.