Sunday, March 28, 2010

3.28.2010, ftw

hard to believe it was ten years ago today that a tornado -- the first in 150 years -- hit the fort. i experienced it the way practically everyone i know did: on the phone, standing outside, looking at the sky. i'd gotten off work early from work at the tandy center and was surprised when a coworker called to tell me, "we're watching a tornado coming up belknap street." i told her, "um, i think you ought to go get in the stairwell, and close the door."

my sweetie, whom i wouldn't meet for another three and a half years, was still living in the little house on boland street back then and watched it going over her house. the boys at the wreck room ran like hell to escape the flying shards of glass when the windows imploded, then went to rescue the barber who was buried under the wreckage of his shop next door. a guy i worked with at radioshack led a woman and her son down the broken glass-strewn escalator in the middle of the tandy center. another who was a search-and-rescue volunteer found the homeless man who was killed outside montgomery ward's.

i tried to go to work the next day and was amazed at the devastation downtown. i saw a car sticking out of the side of the mallick tower. the guard shack from the parking lot outside tandy information services was sitting on top of the downtown library. the modern art museum was still under contruction then, and people i knew said they saw big sheets of metal from the construction site wrapped around phone polls like gum wrappers. telephone polls snapped in two like toothpicks. i like the fact that they kept the bent girders from the sign near the university-bailey-west 7th-camp bowie intersection and made them part of the new post office.

i couldn't go to work for three days, so i sat at home in benbrook writing a 10,000 word story about a '60s detroit band for a british fanzine. the immediate knowledge that we're all at the mercy of nature was quite striking, and stayed with me for a while. then fucking september 11th happened.


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