Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3rd A Memorable date

Today is the 35th anniversary of one of the largest tornado outbreaks in the history of the United States. Our little town of Xenia, Ohio was hit with the largest F5 tornado recorded to that date. Today is a very dark, blustery, rainy day that brings back memories of those days. Most of the time I don’t think about it. But the date does catch me each year. It’s like a birthday of a relative long gone but you still remember. It’s just the fact that the wind is blowing pretty hard today and it is so dark that I am reminded more so today than normal. After experiencing 3 more tornado's in our town (2 of which came with in 1/2 a mile of our home) over the last 35 years I have gotten less afraid. I really am not one to dwell on past tragedies. I prefer to move on but there has been a lot of attention this year about the tornado and I suppose that is why I am more sensitive today than normal.
I am posting a couple of web address' if anyone is interested in some of the stories from people here in Xenia and what happened to them.

I have no old images of that day but I am posting some images of my cute little town for you to enjoy as it looks today!Even though I was not directly effected in any of the tornado's, life is disrupted and the aftermath is traumatic. So much is lost and services are interrupted. There is also the sounds that bring back memories. Helicopters, sirens. Then there is the darkness and quiet because of no power. I was in the 8th grade when the ‘74 tornado struck and I didn’t attend a full day of school again until my senior year when the new school was finally built. I was at home for the next two tornado's and could hear the high pitched scream like sound they make. The last one, I drove into town just after, not realizing how devastating this one had been. It is ironic that this last one would be the one to finally take the fear away. Many people were caught in this one but survived so I realized that not all tornado's are as bad as the ‘74 one and that you can survive. Maybe it is my age but I am also not worried about my stuff anymore so I don’t freak out about loosing my home. I do still take my photo albums to the basement when they announce really bad storms! I am attached to my photographs :). So here are a few of my town I hope you enjoy. Court House ~ Greene County is the county seat

A train used to run down the middle of Xenia. We have a lot of history with the railroads.

Shawnee Park

Galloway cabin

The reproduction of the old train depot. It is the hub of the bicycle trails that run throughout Ohio on the old railroad tracks.

Old Library built with money donated by Carnegie.

The home of the Greene County Historical Society.

Downtown S. Detroit St.

Downtown E. Main St.


  1. Sherri,

    What a great little town (and beautiful pics) - I'm in Ohio too - Mansfield...and it's a dreary day, but we know this "stuff" is short-lived and things will be turning green and springing up all over the place!

    I saw your post on the Junk Camp website, and thought I'd stop by. You mentioned the Springfield Extravaganza - and it's my favorite place to go - buying or selling. My friend and I sell shabby chic/cottage style painted furniture and other fun things. We love to go junking around Ohio. (and it's almost garage sale season too!)

    Take care!

  2. did not want this much time to pass before chatting...thanks for peeking in

    Oh happy Easter Day

  3. I remember that day like it was yesterday. The hubs and I were expecting our first child. We were living in the trailer court on N Detroit and saw the tornado coming our way. We figured we would have no chance of surviving in a trailer. We got in our car and tried to outrun it. It seemed that whichever way we turned, the tornado seemed to follow. It was HUGE! People were sort of standing in the streets, watching...We yelled at a couple to take cover. We ended up parked in a corner in the YMCA parking time to get out and run to the basement of the Y. WHen it hit, the car was sort of floating up and down. We knew it was no mistake that our car was the only one in the parking lot with our windows in tact. The rest were thrown about like children's toys. God is good. HE kept us safe. My husband watched the school be blown to bits. I, on the other hand, was crouching low and praying! Loudly! :) After it was over, we were able to drive our car out of the area. (Unbelievable! we were young and stupid!) We had one little piece of glass lodged in a tire.
    Of course, you know the trailer court remained untouched...
    I will never forget how the community came together to help one another.
    I will not forget a childhood friend who went out to get her son in the back yard and neither made it back.
    After the tornado, we sold the trailer...people were needing places to live.
    We ended up living on Weaver Street...on Shawnee Park. The park was not so lovely as it is today. It was fun to watch the process of the park restoration at the time. I can remember one of the first weddings to take place in the band shell(is that what it is called now?).
    We moved from Xenia in '77. We've been back a couple of times.
    Thanks for sharing the link.