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.
Posted by Reya Mellicker