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   Tornado     Tornado

The following poem was written by Jesse Owsley in 1941. The poem is interesting in the fact that it portrays the path and destruction of the tornado as seen by Jesse.


Some folks write letters, and others write verses and prose,

And I am no poet as my writing shows, but

A tornado hit our good old town

It picked a swath and mowed it down.

It started in to do its’ worse

And wrecked the slaughter house first.

And crossed the road and I’ll be darn

It tore down Ed Denney’s little barn.

Then is came on up the street

And moved his house about six feet.

It got real mad then, I guess

And of Frank Elliott’s house, it made a mess.

Next it struck where Hatcher stood,

He would have gone to the cellar, if only he could.

He grabbed the door in his hand

And lit on his head in “No Man’s Land”.

Next Fraziers’ had a narrow squeeze,

It landed their house among the trees.

It rambled on up the hill,

And unroofed a house for Fothergill.

It stayed right with its’ frightful job,

And shook up Helen, Herb, and Bob.

Jim Barnes’ buildings are not so good

It moved ‘em all from where they stood.

It laid down a fierce barrage,

And jerked the end from Dickey’s garage.

Then it began to act real mean.

And took Jack and Ethel, slick and clean.

Then it gave another hop

And landed on the blacksmith shop.

For the basement, Bert made a run.

But his head was peeled when the thing got done.

It crossed the street, and sad to tell

It made a wreck of the old hotel.

And then we don’t know why,

It took the Baptist Church while passing by.

If you just look you will see some sights.

The things it did to Johnsons, Werths, and Wrights

It picked up Alvah’s house and scattered it around

And pinned his ducks upon the ground.

His pet squirrel, it was turned loose.

And now Alvah is building a “Calaboose”.

Halls weren’t home, when the tornado got there,

But Loyd lost his two foot square

It hit the Christian Church and turned it around,

And eighteen miles away the belfrey was found.

Ben Wilson’s shop it turned upside down,

And his tools were strewn all over the ground.

It twisted its’ tail with an awful roar,

Bid adieu to old Fillmore.

As we look at the wreckage, we heave a sigh

And to some of our landmarks we bid good-by.


Author: Jesse Owsley, 1941


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