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The Snoop 5.1.2014

I know everyone is expecting the Snoop to talk about the weekend storms this week. We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let’s talk about May (not Mae, but the month of May).
Today is the first day of May, and this begins the busiest time of year for many of us. The Christmas season basically begins the day after Thanksgiving and lasts for about a month, until Dec. 25 – then it’s over. But with May comes end of school activities and graduation events, as well as Mothers Day, then later, Memorial Day. Most of the school activities are packed into about two weeks.
The end-of-school events begin this Saturday night with the Ava High School Alumni Banquet. That used to be a school activity. When I was a senior (45 years ago), attendance at the Alumni Banquet was not optional. Miss Una (Ellison) demanded we attend. The Alumni Banquet was a time when the Alumni Association formally welcomed the senior class into its ranks, and the senior class president gave a formal response. Now, no seniors attend the banquet. They don’t even know they are supposed to. It’s just another indication of changing times.
Larry Silvey (class of 1960) and I were talking about this a few days ago. The banquet was a senior activity and the school district absorbed the cost of the meal for the seniors. Over the years it became a money issue – or perhaps an issue of “it’s not our responsibility.” I was in attendance at the school board meeting when our Board of Education denied a request from the Alumni Association to purchase a ticket for each senior who chose to attend.  If anyone under 30 attends the banquet Saturday night, they will either be serving or entertaining.
Hopefully, this year’s Alumni Banquet will not be affected like the one in 2008. That was the year of the “other” tornado that took almost exactly the same path through Ava as last Monday morning’s storm. The ’08 storm hit on Friday morning, and electricity was not restored to the high school until midday Saturday, as I remember. The banquet was set up in the dark, hoping power would be restored in time. It was.
Monday’s storm hit just after midnight and apparently took everyone by surprise. Severe storm warnings had been issued earlier in the evening Sunday, and Douglas County was still under a tornado watch until around 2 a.m., but by bedtime it appeared most of the unsettled weather had passed. I went to bed and slept through the whole thing. It was not until Curly Rawlings came knocking on my door around 1 a.m. that I was even aware there had been a storm. I still had electricity, but many did not.
Whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds doesn’t really matter. The damage was the same. This sort of reminds me of a time that I went to the doctor with a sore throat. After taking a look, Dr. Floyd Hennan said it was probably strep, but he didn’t do a culture because he said he would give me the same antibiotic anyway.
Same with the storm. Doesn’t really matter if it was rotating or straight. The damage was done.
As most are aware by now, the Herald Office took a hard hit. We certainly were not the only business affected. Many in the downtown area had major damage and others throughout town suffered losses simply from being shut down due to the electrical outage. There was actually more residential damage from this storm than in the 2008 tornado.
It is in times like this that we appreciate our community. Everyone worked together, pitched in where they could, and got things back in order. From city and county workers to volunteer fire departments and individuals – and even jail inmates – all were willing to jump in and help where they could to relieve a very painful situation.
I use the term “painful” only in a metaphoric sense. So far as we know, nobody was hurt by this damaging storm and that is something to be thankful for. Just like six years ago, if the storm had struck during the workday, or as folk were driving to work, the result could have been devastating. I just think about our situation here. Had someone been inside our office when that awning came through the plate glass window, we could be making funeral arrangements.
I heard it said many times Monday, and it is so true: buildings can be replaced.