It's 11:38 am May 4, 1999 Javalujah Coffee shop Wichita Kansas

It's difficult to write about Kansas simply because I am so close to it. It's hard to know what could be of interest to others.
But I think tornadoes fascinate everyone. Kansans in general feel that tornadoes are a part of their own fabric. They get exited every spring just waiting for the storms. Last night was no exception especially in my neighborhood … as soon as the wind picked up and started throwing things around people came out on their porches to watch the storm come in. Leaves were slowly being torn off the trees and racing around the houses as if they were in a frantic search for something lost. Then those familiar pinging and ponging noises of hail bouncing off the air conditioner housings and metal rain gutters are orchestrated into the experience. Green skies with flashes of green and blue lightning usher in horizontal rain. All in the neighborhood were out on their porches or peeking out their windows, some in fear some in amazement as the sounds of 200-tornado sirens sing acappella across the city. Most people are so accustomed to this annual circus that they aren't even phased … one of the young ladies across the street was moving her belongings from her old apartment to a new one in the middle of the hail … they were marble sized and just bounced off her head. It's very difficult to tell the level of danger in a storm. The tornadoes were killing people 10 miles south off us but we had no idea … we were just enjoying the vibe. I compare the experience to playing in 5 or 10-foot ocean waves … nature's sublime energy toasting the tempest receptors on your body.
We had rough winds all over the city. I went out today to visit a friend of mine. I just drove a few blocks south and found more storm damage than I had expected. Many trees had been knocked down and some in my favorite park. (I always hate that) Oh well, It could have been much worse. Oklahoma City had an F4 or 5 that stayed on the ground for hours and killed 40 people.

The picture I sent:
Some of the neighbors standing in front of their apartment watching the storm come in as the sunsets.


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