We were in West Liberty once, visiting a gracious old lady in a double-wide. I recognized downtown on CNN, remembered a left turn into the countryside.
When you live somewhere for a few years, it is always part of you, an alternate universe.
My wife was driving along the Ohio one day, with our three children in the car. She had lived in Texas as a kid, and recognized a funnel cloud when she saw one.
Get into the lowest ditch, the radio said, so she did, but the twister veered away.
It’s coming to get us, she said after that. It’s coming right up Brownsboro Road.
I covered a tornado in Green County that spring. A little boy, sleeping in his farmhouse, had been impaled in a splintered tree. By the time I got there, the sun was out, a beautiful spring day in Kentucky.
Eighteen months after we moved back home, the same system that crushed Xenia, Ohio, blew straight up Brownsboro Road, demolishing the town houses on the corner, ripping the roof off our kids’ old school.
This Friday night we held our breath for Henryville and West Liberty and all the rest from where we used to live.
* * *
Below: The view from the Courier-Journal Building.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.