The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY —
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Thoughts from the Lower 40: I, of the storm
In Feb. 14 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

First things first…

I must express my sincere appreciation for the many calls and comments concerning last week's column.

Right after I sent it off to be published, I instantly thought of several people I left out, and I apologize to anyone who fell victim to my not-so-good memory.

I would be remiss to not mention Harold and Sharon Ramage, who have been a constant source of strength and inspiration over the past few years.

Mr. Ramage and I always seemed to arrive at the Post Office at the same time, and I have enjoyed our talks.

Mrs. Ramage and I would often see each other at the junk store (no small dogs involved), and she would often preface her conversations with "Now, Wade…"

And Kim Taylor, I can't believe the patience you have with me.

THANK YOU for not letting me stumble on my daily walk

Praise the Lord, and pass the gizzards!

And now…

So, how 'bout this weather, huh?

Yes, once again, I am re-visiting a subject I have rambled on about before. (Hmmm-wonder if I can work "socks" into this somehow…)

It's just, I dunno, have you ever experienced a series of events that all sorta tie together, and they almost make sense, even though they may, or may not be, related?

Ohhhhh. I think I just lost most of you there. (And maybe lost myself, too.)

Tuesday night, during a brief period of sleep, I had a dream about storms.

I dream about storms quite a bit, and I know that means something.

Anyway, I had this dream I saw a small tornado come through the field behind our house.

It was very distinctive-I could see reddish-brown dirt swirling around, things flying through the air, and heard an omnipresent roar as the twister cut a path through our backyard.

Nobody believed me, but I had pictures of it. I was excited about putting them in our newspaper. (But in reality, we don't own a newspaper anymore. Old habits die hard, I reckon'. Dream are weird, you know.)

Of course, I woke up as I was getting ready to see how my pictures turned out.

Wednesday, while working at the Branch Library, in Russell Springs, people kept talking about the "bad weather" we were supposed to be getting.

Sure, the wind was getting pretty wicked, but I just kinda blew it off (HA! What a "punster" I am!), and went about my business.

As afternoon approached, and the wind increased in strength, I noticed the big, front glass windows at the library were moving in and out-almost like they were breathing.

"Well," I said, "I hope these windows don't blow out."

Don't know why I said it, I just said it.

Soon after that, my wife called to tell me someone at the Board of Education (which is directly across from our house) had telephoned her because the front doors of our house had blown open.

And by the way, THANK YOU again, Angela Bolin! She has called us (more than once) to let us know when a horse we were keeping was roaming outside the fence.

Chris Bell corralled one in the front yard of the Board one time. Yee-haw! You can call him a cowboy, baby, 'cos I've seen him ride!.

Angela has probably called when a kid(s) roam across the street-along with calling about the doors (not the psychedelic music group from the 60s), etc.

It was time for me to pick up our four-year-old, Drake, at the incredibly awesome Little Learning Center, and when he saw what was going on outside, he became frightened.

"It is going to storm, Daddy?" he asked, tightly clutching my hand.

"No, no, it's nothing to worry about," I assured him.

We drove toward Jamestown-dodging the occasional, stray, trash can, tree limb, and construction sign in our path.

"Daddy…" Drake would say.

"It's OK, buddy," I would tell him.

We got home, and as I exited our vehicle, I heard a "creaking" noise from the direction of a huge, old pine tree next to the house.

"Drake," I said, "you go on in the house.

"Daddy's got an idea."

Drake shook his head in sort of an "Oh, boy…" motion, and went in the house.

I was thinking that if I could get some rope out of the barn behind our house, maybe I could "tie" that pine tree to a nearby tree stump-and that way, if the tree were to fall, it would fall away from the house, instead of toward it.

Yeah, that would work.

I fiddled with the awkward lock on the barn door, and finally got inside.


The place smelled like a….barn.

I saw a few rusted tools, a swing set (Where'd that come from?!), a small length of chain, some old newspapers…no rope.

The strengthening wind was whistling through the gaps in the boards on the side of the barn.

Then, I heard a "tinkling" sound.

I checked my pants.


So far, so good.

The "tinkling' sound increased, and I realized it was rain, hail, or "something" on the barn's tin roof.

However, when I stepped outside, it wasn't even raining.


As I began walking back toward the house, I could see Drake standing in the window of our back patio.

He waved at me, and as I held my hand up to wave at him, I felt a "spray" against my face.

I checked my pants.


Still, so far, so good.

Then I heard an "omnipresent roar."

 I looked to my right, and saw what I can only describe as a huge, white "wall" coming across the field in my direction.

In a quick succession of seconds, I looked toward Drake, then my eyes darted back to the roaring wave bearing down on me.

I felt a very strong, warm gust of wind.

I checked my pants.

Again, so far, so good.

The next thing I knew, I had been knocked flat, face-down on the ground (And I'm pretty big ol' boy.)

The only way I can describe it is that I assume that's what it would feel like if you walked through a car wash, or if you were surfing and a wave crashed over you.

I was able to raise my head off the ground enough to see tree limbs, pieces of paper and I distinctly remember seeing a bright, pink, plastic container of some kind swirling through the air.

The "storm" had breezed by me, over me, through me just…like…that.

I half-crawled, half-slithered to the back porch.

When I was able to stand, I realized I was TOTALLY drenched.

Even my socks were wet. (YEAH! I did it! Pay up, suckers!)

I spit out a clump of grass and mud, and wiped debris from my clothes.

Drake met me at the door.

"You OK, daddy?" he asked.

"That…was….AWESOME!" I screamed-like Chris Farley used to do.

I then heard the "fire whistle" blow.

Not good.

Through the crackle of the police scanner, I was able to tell the roof had blown off of some building on the Jamestown Square.

"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" I screamed.

I just knew they were talking about the newspaper office on the corner.

I grabbed up Drake, and we sped toward town.

But I realized, "Wait...we don't own that building anymore."

We still have things stored there, and I can only imagine the roof being peeled back, and me having to sift through thousands of wet, soggy, albums I have stored there.

QUICK HISTORY LESSON-For all you "ipod kids," "records" or "LPs" or "albums" are these big, round, black things that have grooves on them (literally and figuratively) and they play music.

I decided I'd swing by the Main Library to call and check on all the other Daffron children spread near and far.

At first, I didn't notice the glass and debris near the entrance.

I was half-way through the front door when someone shouted "Watch out for the glass!"

The quizzical look slid from my face when I saw a big, jagged, pointy piece of glass jutting from the window frame.

And, of course, the electricity went out.

It was all too much to process.

In the period of just a few, brief minutes, it seemed like everything had gone crazy.

Every place I went, every place I knew had some kind of damage and hysteria involved.

Drake and I scurried to the safety of our vehicle and we drove until we saw clear, blue skies.

"It's OK now," I told him.

I explained to Drake it was OK to be scared, and that Daddy would always be there to protect him, we'd get through whatever we faced together, and to always pray about anything/everything.

"Drake," I said, patting him on the head, "you can trust your ol' dad."

"But daddy," he said. "I thought you said it wasn't going to storm.”

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
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Russell Springs KY 42642
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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