Monday, May 17, 2010


by Reya Mellicker

My family moved to Kansas City during August, 1958. As soon as the dust settled from that move, the neighbors began telling stories about the Ruskin tornado. In Denver, where I was born and spent my first five years, there was no such thing as tornado warnings or tornado sirens or terrible tales of tornadic destruction. I had seen The Wizard of Oz but that was my only reference point.

We heard about the Ruskin sign (after the storm, the sign said "ruin") and other creepy stories that may have been true (the sign story is true, I've seen the picture) or may have been myth. It wasn't just a storm, no. The Ruskin tornado was a being, an evil demon with a personality and everything ... or so it seemed to me at the time.

I was scared to death. A kindergarten aged wicked witch, I kept a wary eye on the sky at all times. In fact, I had tornado nightmares for decades after hearing all the stories.

These days I am a weather geek. I've read all about the meteorology of the F5 Ruskin tornado. It was a doozy! I'm so looking forward to stories, videos and first-hand accounts from the other contributors here.

The Ruskin tornado was the boogy-man of my childhood. I am ready to enter the labyrinth and face it head on.

Bring it.


  1. About your dreams from all the youngest brother, Stormy, was born two years AFTER the tornado, but says he feels like he was in it himself after hearing all the details for so many years! Sometimes, the imagination can be every bit as scary as reality.

  2. I showed my mom the video I intend to post. She sat through it in silence. Afterward I recounted my memories of the event, just to confirm my recollection. She said, "yes... you're right". I will post that account shortly, but I have been warned NOT to post the video until the anniversary on the 20th.

  3. Hello everyone! Thanks Reya for your prequel. I hope we'll each tell our little story of the tornado. It will be fun to read and hopefully classmates will come and add their memories. You know many of our friends actually returned to rubble instead of a house after the "boogeyman" roared through Ruskin Heights. I also hope this blog doesn't become a private meeting place for the five of us and a few visitors. Reya has pointed out that reciprocal arrangements require a commitment to reading other blogs. I'm up for that! Reya, please guide us with bringing other readers...pleez

  4. For me it has never been about attracting readers. For me, blogging is an offering. I put it out, if others feel like reading it, great, if not, that's great, too.

    I've been blogging for almost 7 years. The people I read and the sites I visit have accumulated slowly over time.

    Are there blogs you enjoy reading? Do you visit often and comment? You could link to those blogs here, and then settle back and enjoy the ongoing conversations.

    That's how it happened for me. No strings attached blogging. Yeah.

  5. Patience, Mr. Riley....P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.

  6. fine with me. we number the fingers of one hand. with visitors, we make it to the ring on the other one. just seems like a shame to see the genius of your writing to go around and around in our in-house washing machine when dozens, if not hundreds of others would be thrilled to visit. A good place to start are blogs we visit...Reya has told us that repeatedly. She visits dozens of them but I get the feeling it doesn't count unless we all visit? I'm sure her fans would actually love to know she writes here too. I may just go stowaway on all those blogs and brag about her contributions here and bear the consequences of my rashness.

    You're right, patience isn't my most widely acclaimed virue. On the other hand, I've heard others agree that we'll get more apples by shaking the tree.

  7. My boogey-man was Armageddon. My grandfather preached it constantly. After a few years of being scared to death of going out side to walk to and attend school on said day, I quit being so afraid.

    I'm still waiting.

  8. Ronda don't hold your breath!

    Blogging is a relationship. I don't have fans. I have blogfellows, blog family, blog clan, with whom I am related. We read each other's blogs.

    Here I am still testing the waters. Is there some big urgency here, Dub or are you just feeling restless?

  9. Reya - I love your picture...the broken pieces we all can relate to. Thanks for stirring our thoughts in a prequel. The relationships building here are sharing, expressing and relating - conversing as they sharpen skills to write/express. Now, I wonder what online sites and/or magazines would pay for some articles - that could then be linked back to this blog.....there are blogs and articles on Delicious and probably sites on Diigo that other people have bookmarked and organized under keywords you can search. Possibly running through these and leaving a link here could generate some relevant traffic.

  10. A number of May 20 '57 survivors have told their stories in comments to a post on my blog. I'll leave a 53'rd year after post tomorrow and link this blog... bring the stories together


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