Dallas and an EF-3

I was back in North Texas in mid-January to visit my dad in Sanger and my sister in Dallas. Pops will be 89 next month and is doing reasonably well given that he’s been a two-pack-a-day guy since he was 13. That’s a lot of cigarettes over nearly 76 years. Assuming 20 cigarettes per pack (some brands have 25 cigarettes per pack and pack sizes may have varied over the years), that’s an estimated 1,109,600 cigarettes over just short of 28,000 days—a whole lotta butts.

I teased Pops a bit on his 80th birthday, announcing to his family and friends at a surprise party for him that the CDC in Atlanta had contacted me. They wanted to see him, examine him, talk to him, given that for the most part he was void of tobacco-related maladies even after all of his cigarette smoking. I think that some of the people in the room believed me at first, then understood that I was joking.

Our visit this time was pleasant. We spent some time talking about his youth, focusing on stories first shared with me a long time ago. We ate pizza. He bragged about the great care he was getting from my youngest sister, Gigi.

North and Northeast Dallas is still recovering from the tornado outbreak of October 20, 2019. A total of ten tornadoes were spotted that day. The twister that tore through an area from just north of Love Field moving east to the suburb of Richardson was an EF-3. EF-3s, the Fujita scale, carry wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour and can overturn trains, pick up heavy cars off the ground and move them a distance, and debark trees, scary images to place in your mind. Severe damage, but no flying cows, was realized along Marsh Lane, the road that runs from Love Field to my sister’s house. Amazingly, there were no deaths, although an estimated $2 billion in property losses has been reported.

My sister Terry and I had talked about the mayhem on the phone on October 21st, and she told me about her crazy ride home from work on the 20th. She was on her motorcycle just before the storm hit in full force. She made I home before the worst of it, wet and wearing some leaves. Knowing that I am interested in these sorts of things, she suggested that on this visit we take a brief tour of some of the areas of town hardest hit. It was nearly 90 days since the twister made its run, yet many areas, both residential and commercial, had not yet been rebuilt. I was amazed at the extent of damage. Several older strip malls are many months, at least, from being open again. Many buildings are completely destroyed. Check out these pictures…

These are/were residences…









A really large tree…










A church…










And a firehouse.



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