Thursday, April 28, 2005

The drive to Dunn Center today was blustery, with small, hard snowflakes and Chinese pheasants careening across my line of vision. Highway 200 is a lonely, grey, snakey thing in the morning. In July of 1977, when I was six, I saw a tornado try to scrape the lines off her back. It was Independence Day, and Dunn Center had just wrapped up its yearly parade and barbecue. The twister touched down near Lake Ilo, headed north for a mile and then got swallowed up in sleet. My parents, my dog, and I ran back to the house and unlatched the root cellar just in case the cyclone made a sudden reappearance.

Seeing a tornado that close was terrifying. I saw another when I lived on Music Row in Music City, U.S.A. The sky turned green, purple, and brown, and cicadas stopped chirping. It tore that city a new f-hole. An old oak tree fell down in Centennial Park and crushed a Vanderbilt student. The new football stadium got hammered, as did a lot of East Nashville.

Work was more mundane today. Geri and I cleaned. Mice have been getting into the exhibits and leaving droppings and eating quilts. Tomorrow I'll deal with the log cabin and homesteader shack. Both are littered with dead flies and moths and more mice pellets. Saturday we'll open to the public.

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