I turned to go to the street that would leadto my grandparent's home.
I had no idea what toexpect; I had been told that streets were blockedoff but I have seen no blocked streets during thetwo days I have been here.
I passed my brickelementary school that has been listed asdestroyed; it is standing but there are manyboarded up windows.
The houses I could seefrom this street looked pretty much OK - and thenI began to notice more and more signiﬁcantdamage as I moved further and further west.
Iwas following for the most part the northern edgeof the path - to my left things looked pretty goodand to my right things were getting worse andworse.
I passed the tiny neighborhood store where my grandmother sent me for a loaf of bread and penny candy from Old Mrs. Carter (she was real mean!).
It was in bad shape but it was falling down the last time I saw it.
I edged up the street and pulled over and parked the rental car before I looked.
My grandparent's home was standing!
As I got out of the car with camera in hand I noticed heads turning by some men working on their homes right around me.
I immediately walked up to the nearest one, stuck out my hand,told him who I was and why I was here.
All was well from that point on.
He remembered my grandparents by name.
was repairing his home.
He had already replaced his front and his windows.
He was the ﬁrst house on my right, toward the path; the second house to the right was signiﬁcantly more damaged and by the third house to the right,they were standing but uninhabitable.
The house directly across him had the ﬂat roof sheared completely off while an elderly man inside soundly slept.
I walked around most of my grandparent
One of the walnut trees fell over and the top branches of the tree fell on the roof not seeming to do much damage.
My great- grandparent's home has been condemned; still standing but off its foundation.
Two blocks away is leveled completely.
Huge trees are lying on their sides with their root balls exposed.
Homes are ﬂattened!
(For the most part, homes in this area are older, simple,wood-framed.) Peace Lutheran Church, built I believe in my teens, is gone completely; only the concrete slab foundation and the asphalt parking lot remain.
They are now sharing worship space 6 blocks away with a Presbyterian church.Stumps of trees that were growing at the high school have been formed by chain saw into eagles, the school mascot.
My middle school,two- storied brick is collapsed inward on itself from the roof giving way.
In some sense of my own ethics, I feel free to visit my own "spots" but I do not drive into areas that are not my own.
I know that may seem silly.
I also don't feel that I need to witness more and more destruction.
Below is the website for the Joplin MO Rotary Clubs.
We all have the opportunity to help people in devastated areas.
And we do not even have to travel overseas to be available to lend a helping hand.
If you are interested in helping,please write a check to the Campbell, San Jose West Rotary Club Foundation, identifying the money to go to Joplin Mo., and we will see that you have a tax deductible Foundation donation (TRF) and will go toward your annual gift to the Annual Giving Fund.