Saturday, May 04, 2013

a quick finish - with lots of pictures

I thought I ought to finish the photos from my trip to Kansas for Grandma's funeral. I don't know how many of you are familiar with rural life but these are irrigation pipes. They are to replace pipes lost in a tornado a year ago.

These are pipes twisted around trees after the tornado. The tornado struck these pipes and the home you will see below about 2 miles from the home where I grew up.

Mom and I looked at the topped and twisted trees in the path of destruction and it looked like the tornado came down a draw that would have led to where our home used to stand.

The home below is of our old neighbor Bob Dole (not the politician). Bob didn't know what happened, it was his good fortune to be in a nursing home. His nephew Dicky didn't tell him. Dicky's place was hit hard too. He lived a mile or so further down the creek.

Bob's house. His house was damaged but not demolished like the barn. The barn was gone.

There was one place where a woman and her two children heard the typical noise of a tornado; the sound of a train coming hard and fast. They hid (I cannot recall if it was under a table or in the basement). They were just in time. The whole place was gone when they came out.

Dicky showed up at Grandma's funeral. It was good to see him. I smiled to myself when I first saw him. His hair has gone white and he looks a great deal like I remember Bob looking when I was young. 

Bob was what many would refer to as an eccentric. He had a vast collection of curated junk, which you will see shortly when I cross the highway and show you photos of what remains of the barn. 

Notice the chimney. I couldn't help wondering at how it was removed and laid in the angle of the roof. I wouldn't want to be there when it finally slipped. 

Barn swallow nest on the porch. 

You all know I like photographing abandoned places and Bob's was a landmark of my childhood so you will forgive the huge number of photographs. 

Crossing the road towards Bob's barn. The creek is where most of the irrigation pipe at the beginning ended up. When I was young, Bob had a pair of old draft horses that roamed the creek and came to the barn for food and petting.

Look at all the bikes in one corner of the foundation of the barn!!  I know that to most of us it is junk - but I can't help thinking he curated it and collected it carefully.

Bob had a collection of old tractors. My understanding is that some of them were redeposited in the creek by the tornado.

Among the curiosities I noticed in the rubble was old horse tack. It was probably from the days when the draft horses were actually used as work animals.

Exercise bike anyone? Or would an old windshield be of use to you?

This marker was several blocks from the house we lived at in Long Island, KS when I was very small. I think it is the only house of the three I lived in when we lived in the Valley that still stands. This marker commemorates one of the last Indian battles in Kansas. You can read about it here.

This is the Harlan County Dam on the Republican River. I know it doesn't look like much. I remember when I was a child, thinking that there was so much water in it. Growing up in Kansas/Nebraska, a person did not see big bodies of water. So perhaps my imagination and inexperience made it seem like more than there really was.

Apparently, there is still a lot of good fishing there. We stayed at a Super8 in Alma, NE that was right next to the dam and apparently it can get very busy for them when fishing season is open.

Thanks for patiently putting up with these photos. I will try to share some stuff I've been working on soon.

In case, any of you are interested. It snowed again yesterday. It is drippy and cold today with possibilities of more 'wintry mix.'

We are going to a Raptor Release. I may or may not take pictures.

Have a great weekend.


  1. So sorry to hear of your loss. Me deepest sympathies.
    Love your photos, growing up on a farm I can relate to many of them.
    Take care

  2. They may be of destruction, but the photos are beautiful nontheless. I'm glad you shared them.

  3. I enjoyed seeing all these photos of rural America. Snow? Again? Geez, hope it warms up soon for you. Have a nice weekend.

  4. Man, that picture of twisted irrigation pipes...! I love curated junk - great pic of all those bikes. He sounds like my kind of hoarder, actually. Very cool b&w shots, Melissa!

  5. I have been in the N.C. mountains after a tornado but wow those pipes illustrate the force of the storm very well.

  6. So many lovely shots. Hooray for rural life.

  7. That was an incredible tornado, they are so fortunate that they were not harmed. Fascinating post , both words and photos - I learned so much. Tornadoes are very rare in these parts. Enjoy the release!