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On the night of April 24, 2019, I became personally acquainted with a tornado up close and personal.  This mighty wind did considerable damage to my house, particularly my wife’s music studio. I now wonder how tornadoes know which room of a house has the most expensive contents to zero in on.  The music room had two expensive organs and a new piano, all of which sustained water damage.


In the future, I will have to remember the date of the tornado to relate the details of it to friends and family.  I wonder why they don’t assign names to tornadoes like they do hurricanes.  Most people remember past hurricanes such as Rita, Katrina, and Carla.  Why, you ask.  Because they have names which identify them. The same should be true of destructive tornadoes.

The World Meteorological Organization is responsible for assigning names to hurricanes.  They began in 1953 using American female names.  Apparently they were running out of female names, so in 1978 they began using male names.  In 1998 they began using foreign names.  The first male named hurricane was “Gilbert”.  I note that today they use foreign male names as well.

I think that tornadoes should be named.  Research reveals that in an average year tornadoes cause some $400 million dollars in damages in North America, and will kill 70 people.  Over 1,000 tornadoes will hit the United States each year.


I would recommend that tornadoes be named after vicious animals and poisonous snakes. A few suggestions would be – Tornado Asp, TornadoViper, Tornado Rattler, Tornado Cotton Mouth.  As for vicious animals, I recommendTornado Hyena, Tornado Lion, or Tornado Black Bear.  Any of these would be appropriate names to use.


I have decided that Mother Nature will occasionally insert some levity among the destruction.  Case in point – Our yard was awarded “Yard of the Month” in April by the San Augustine Garden Club.  They placed an appropriate sign in our front yard.  The tornado blew the sign across the road and into a vacant lot. Someone found it, brought it back, and planted it in our yard amid all the debris. Almost everyone caught the humor involved.


The morning after the storm, we kept hearing someone singing the song ”Jingle Bells”.  I was unable to locate the source. Later on a visitor spied our small singing Christmas tree in the debris pile in the front yard.  After hearing the song over and over, he went over and stomped it dead. 

Hopefully we will be able to return to our house in a couple of months from now.  It appears that the cost to repair the house will exceed its original cost.


I have decided to name this tornado “Rattler” because it rattled our senses as nothing before has done.  Our cat, Maggie, is still in a catatonic state.   


It appears that Tornado Rattler deposited many things from our storage buildings in White Rock, and Patroon.  Chances are my power lawn mower is lodged in a pine tree somewhere in Shelby County, along with other keepsake items. We are thankful that God watched over all three of us, and we were not harmed.  Good bye, and good riddance Tornado “Rattler”.

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