|This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.|
Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
Previous - Page 43 or Next - Page 45
In the meantime I was quite busy running into the house to keep an eye on the food that I had cooking on the stove, to make sure I didn't ruin the supper. I got the wood and kindling all split and by that time my golden haired spaniel had a big pile brought in. I then went out to call the men for supper. They had their tools picked up by that time and were ready to come in.
Dad noticed the rain clouds and thought it best to prepare with some dry kindling for morning, so he picked up an arm full besides the tools he was carrying. Then he noticed a big crowbar laying on the ground but passed it up as he was going back down that way after supper anyway.
The house was sitting upon a hill above the barn. It was a high and dry location for a building place and a very nice view in all directions. When the men were coming up the hill, I was standing there watching the black clouds in the west, I remarked to my Dad and Uncle that it looked like one big black cloud way back was spinning around. When they stopped and had a look, I remember my uncle said that it looked like it could by a cyclone. However, it was so far away that nobody paid any more attention to that particular cloud, but they mentioned that it sure looked like it was going to be a heavy rain, and perhaps hail. It was perhaps a little after six o'clock when we sat down to supper.
We were almost finished eating when we heard a few hailstones dropping on the roof, although it was still calm, not a breeze in the air. The hailstones started dropping more rapidly so we looked out the window- they were as big as pullet eggs.
There wasn't a window on the west side of the kitchen, so for curiosity's sake, I opened the door and took one look at the big black cloud that was spinning around. I called to the men to come and have a look. With the door open they could now hear the terrible noise as this spinning cloud was less than a half of a mile away. The hail had ceased to drop and all that was visible was the big cyclone bearing down on us. My dad and uncle gave it one look and decided that we would have to do something and do it quick. Dad suggested that we go down into the cellar but my uncle said that we should run north across the field. There was no time for any decisions to be changed--Dad headed for the cellar with me following and my uncle ran for all he was worth to the north. When he got out about a hundred yards from the house he noticed that he wouldn't be able to make it so dashed back to the house. By that time, the wind was so severe that he was almost unable to close the door behind him. He made one dash for the cellar.
It was only a few seconds later that we could hear the cracking and banging of trees, gravel and rocks smashing against the house. By this time my dad had grabbed me and pushed me back into the northwest corner of the cellar. He was on top of me as he knew by now what was going to take place within the next few seconds. My uncle was hugging the southwest corner as tight as he could I had my eyes open and I could see a flash of light coming in as it lifted the one corner of the house. Within another second or two we heard the final crash--the house was gone.
The terrible noise of the cyclone cannot be described in words. The dust, gravel and rocks were flying around us for the next few minutes but finally settled down as the cyclone moved along. We then climbed out of the cellar to find everyting gone--house, barn, graineries, and machinery. The whole yard was swept clean of everything, even to the solid stone foundation that the house was built on. This was all lifted over our heads as we lay there but miraculously none of us were hurt. Perhaps what saved us was the fact that it was a small cellar about eighty by ten feet and about five feet deep.
I have heard said many times that the impossible can take place in a Twister, and this almost held true in this case. We had a team of horses in the barn, standing together in the same stall and tied to the same manger. When we first came up out of the cellar and looked around we could see the rear end of the Twister as it had passed over us and was only about one hundred yards from where we were standing. We looked the other way towards where the barn had been, and about fifty feet to the south we spotted one horse standing there looking bewildered, with a broken haltershank. We found later that he didn't have a scratch on him.
As the cyclone moved along and the dust started to settle down a little out in the field, we spotted the big black mare, with a broken haltershank, getting up, only to fall again. She tried it again and this time made it, but staggered off in a circle and fell again. We went down to see how badly she was hurt but found that she had no broken legs or any visible cuts or bruises, although we found later that she had a couple of broken ribs but outside of that she was not hurt. The only explanation to my thinking is that she must have been picked up and carried away out there, and if she was, goodness knows how many revolutions she made round and round with that twister, as she was now about four hundred yards out in the field from where she had been tied in the barn. But, what about the other horse, the smaller one of the two? Was he dropped right there where he was standing?