OKLAHOMA STRONG. REBUILD MOORE.
That’s what the sign read, outside the restaurant where we had lunch. This was the view across the street.
The devastation visited on Moore by the tornadoes in May truly takes your breath away. The force of the wind didn’t level neighborhoods. It demolished them, down to the foundations. In places it scoured the grass from the ground. People called the storms grinders. To survive, you had to get out of town or get under ground.
But Moore is up and running. The local banks are open — maybe not the bank buildings, but they’re operating from a bus in the parking lot. Most of the city, unbelievably, is unscathed. Demolition and construction crews are everywhere, and hard at work.
Plenty of people need help, and plenty of people are offering it. If you’re passing anywhere close by, stop in town and give Moore some of your business.
Tomorrow evening I’m speaking in Oklahoma City. I’m going to be telling my hometown about The Shadow Tracer. I’ll be at Barnes & Noble, 6100 May Avenue. That’s Tuesday, July 2nd, at 7 p.m.
So today the Husband and I loaded up the car and we moved to Beverleee… No, wait. We hit the Interstate and headed north from Austin. It’s been a long time since I’ve made this drive, so I was staring out the window like a tourist. Highlights of the journey:
- We passed Redneck Fireworks & then Rumpy’s Bakery. At which point the Husband announced that he did not want to meet the baker.
- Just north of Austin we saw a free range bra rolling down I-35. It was red. We swerved.
- We were rolling through Ft. Worth when, through the magic of my phone and THE INTERNET, I learned that the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram has included The Shadow Tracer as one of its Three Books for Summer Reading Lists.
- I attempted to surf on the hood of the car, raising my arms and making V for Victory signs, shouting, “Thank you, Ft. Worth!” However, the Husband prevented me from climbing out the window while we were going 70 mph on I-35. Spoilsport.
- Shortly after crossing into Oklahoma, we passed the Stallion Station. Yes, that’s exactly what you think it is.
- As we drove through southern Oklahoma, the radio station played ’80s rock and made public service announcements in the Chickasaw language.
Now we’re in Oklahoma City. It’s a perfect day under glorious blue skies. But the tornado devastation in Moore is still raw. I’ll have more to say about that later. Everybody is hanging in there, but nature has been violent.