35. Wind and Fire

Thursday May 28 2020

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Memorial Day tornadoes that tore through the Dayton area.

We got lucky and we know it. When we looked at the maps developed after the damage, our house was between two twisters that split off on either side of us. Our neighbor claims to have heard the train and we were a bit skeptical until we drove around the area. So much damage and within shouting distance of where we are. I’m still in awe that no lives were lost and wonder how that could even be possible with entire homes and apartments destroyed.

I was working at my full-time job in downtown Dayton when this happened. My usual morning commute the next day was increased from twenty-five minutes to about an hour and a half since much of it was in the wake of one of tornadoes. I was detoured around ground zero and was able to see some of the impact in the North Dixie and Wagoner Ford neighborhoods. We heard later that many of the people living in these areas lost everything. It’s an older and impoverished area of Dayton. Those who owned their property outright didn’t have insurance; the same story for the families who rented their homes. A year later, I drove through the area and wasn’t surprised to see that much of the damage has not been repaired.

Today’s news had a bit about last year’s local disaster, but our collective attention span has already filed this away as old news. Doesn’t matter that we’re still rebuilding Dayton neighborhoods, the citizenship of those not affected have tired of the chatter.

Instead we’re getting updates on the goings-on in Minneapolis. Protesters say they will not stop until the police officers directly involved are arrested and processed for trial. In the meantime, looting and fires are the response, because let’s bring everyone into the fray. Being a police matter, Minneapolis businesses didn’t have a direct involvement in the wrongful death of this individual, yet stores were looted anyway. Or worse, were set aflame to destroy inventory, making insurance rates increase for all commercial enterprises. This kind of thing is outside of the message the protesters want to make, right? Still, it’s getting the nation’s attention, so there’s that.

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