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Micky Gramlin
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As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 7

Published on 10/25/2016
For additional information  Click Here


Rockfield, Indiana

Carroll County

May 16,1968



"I had heard Tina land on her feet as she jumped from the top bunk. I listened to her running footsteps as her shadow entered the hall and just as she made the turn she was suddenly gone. I did not want to tell my Mother but the storm was coming again and now we all had to find that house. I was afraid we were going to run out of time!"

"I walked up to my Mother and quietly said, “Mom”. I don’t think she heard me. “Mom” She stopped and looked at me. They all stopped to look at me. I hesitated. “Mom” I said again. I did not know how to begin. I was just getting ready to say it, and then bless her heart, “Here I am Mommy!” I heard Tina say."

It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life when Tina reappeared. The fact that we were all standing there together again, even in the midst of the chaos and destruction was, I felt one of the most monumental blessings that we would ever realize. But there was no time to be happy about the miracle of our reunion.

Mother Nature was not done. There was another round of storms marching towards us and the darkness was worse than a wet sheet clinging to us. We could barely see one another unless lightning streaked across the clouds and it seemed so close at times that I was afraid that a lightning bolt was going to be our real killer.

We all stood there waiting for some kind of answer as to what we should do. To me it looked like the whole town was gone. At 28, my Mother, I was sure she had never experienced anything like this before. I realize now she was more than likely in shock.  


Image may contain: one or more people

Ann Harvey 


I was the only one that knew about the house I quickly thought. I told Mom to make sure everyone followed and then I yelled, “Follow me!” I don’t even know how I found the house but there it was and I ran up to the steps of the back deck. I then stepped aside for the others to go on up the steps, not to be nice … but to make sure I did not lose my Mother again.

I looked at the girls and funny how things kick in, but I noticed that Robin and Jennifer only had their underwear on. I thought to myself, “What are they doing running around without any clothes on? Geez … and on a night like this?”

Just as everyone got onto the small deck, the wind began to pick up and I could hear the trees moving.  We tried to open the door, which was an old storm door with panes of glass. It was locked. The house was dark. Boom! Loud thunder cracked. The girls started screaming and beating on the door.  Then glass began to break. Someone was going to get cut. I just knew it.

I started yelling, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” Then, “We have to go and we have to go now!” Debbie turned around and defiantly screamed, “I’m not leaving here! The tornado is coming back again!” Well, I knew the best way to beat my dear sister in this argument was just to let her see that she was outnumbered. Then to let the thought of her remaining there by herself register. That realization to her alone would be enough to stop the argument! I made up my mind there was not going to be a fight, even though I wanted to box her ears!

God forgive me, but I decided to tell a white lie and hoped the power of persuasion would be in my favor. If Robin agreed with Debbie then precious time would be lost and we had to somehow get to safety. I was also trying to stop any more panic from settling in. So, I grabbed Robin and spun her around to look at me.  “Robin, the tornado has left us!” Robin looked at me and said “No”. “Yes, it has look!” And I pointed in the dark. “Look Robin. It’s tearing up that old barn!” Everyone looked. “Look! Can you see it Robin? Do you see it? There just went the roof!” That was enough. She believed me.

I looked at Mom. Neither one of us had any answers. It was storming again. The rain was heavy. Thunder and lightning all around us. The wind was blowing. Mom said, “Let’s go the front porch. Maybe we can get out of the rain.” We heard a large tree fall. The girls started screaming again. I understood right then that I had to somehow keep myself together and help Mom get us to safety. That it was just me and her because the girls were just too frightened.

We ran to the other side of the house, understanding without a word between us there was no way the girls would go back the same way we had come from. We stopped. Lightning flashed.  We could see the path to the front of the house was lined with big tree limbs.  Mom said, “Grab hands” She looked at me and said, “I’ll lead and you follow” I looked at the girls and said to them, “Watch out for live wires. Don’t touch them”

In a single file we made it to the front of the house. Suddenly it stopped raining but the thunder was loud, lightning was dancing everywhere. The wind was still strong and the darkness of the night was still clinging to us. As we regrouped, we saw a lantern swinging not too far from us. It looked like it was across the street but not directly in front of us.  Finally some help I thought.

I started to relax just a bit. We got up to the street and were regrouping again to make sure everyone was there before we crossed over to the lone man with the lantern. Then my Mother said, “Wait. Wait. What is that noise?” The girls did not want to wait and listen. We had to hold them back.

The noise got louder and was drowning out what the man was yelling at us.  I thought I heard him say not to cross the street. “Mom he is telling us not to cross the street!” Yes, that is what he is saying, but why? The answer came.  

A wall of water about 5 feet in height rolled down the street in front of us. It was a flash flood.  Totally disgusted, I slammed my fist into my other hand.


To be continued ...





As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story 

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story part 2

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 3

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 4

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 5

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 6

As The Storm Clouds Gather: A Personal Story Part 8 The Final Entry







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