I remember how unreal the tornado was on May 3, 1999.
We stayed in the house overnight the first night, right after it happened. There could easily have been a nearby gas leak that could have had the whole neighborhood up in flames. I think we lit candles too. Survivor guilt or shock, perhaps.
Once we left the neighborhood the next day, we couldn’t come back. We stayed at a hotel. We ate at Denny’s. I took finals. And made all A’s for the semester.
They let us back in the neighborhood five days after it happened. It was the same day that Dana Plato killed herself. I totally forgot it was Mother’s Day. Mom spent Mother’s Day helping us clean the spoiled food out of the fridge and the rest of our house in general. I think I gave mom a Moody Blues album later in the month.
There was crap all over the neighborhood. FEMA came by giving meals and tetanus shots. My brother and I decided that FEMA stood for “Feed my ass”
My brother and I sang “We got debris” to the tune of the Go Go’s “We’ve got the beat”.
For weeks, couldn’t get in or out of our neighborhood without going through a police checkpoint. I think there was a curfew too.
So, yeah, let’s leave them alone in Joplin and help silently. They don’t need any lookie-loo’s going through their neighborhoods under the pretense of helping when all they probably want to see is a severed foot or head and then shuffle on down the road to eat a burger in Springfield.