Monday, June 16, 2008

Chapman Tornado-Day 5

Finally, some progress! It seemed like the town looked worse every day Nichole and I saw it, but today there are signs that progress had been made.

One sign was that the high school staff, with the help of many volunteers, basically finished pulling everything out of the high school. It took three long days, but they are now ready for the next step, which is figuring out what stays and what gets demolished. I was told today that as of right now the only part of the high school that they are going to try and save was the band, music, and multi-purpose rooms and the cafeteria and the weight room. In other words, basically the north side of the school. The high school gym may also be saved, but that decision would come later.

My room was a complete loss, of course, and it was pretty sad taking down my stuff off of the wall and walking out of there one last time. I've had a lot of former students ask me if I was able to save certain things like my gumball machine (no), the Journalism Wall of Fame photos (no), or Nutty the Squirrel (only the head). When you spend 8 years in one place, it's harder to leave than you might think. However, when you find pieces of glass embedded into your desk, you know it's time to move on. :)

There has been no talk as far as I know about where we will have school, but we have been guaranteed that it will start Aug. 18 as planned, and it will be held somewhere in the Chapman district. Where, we don't know, but I'm sure that will come in the next couple of days.

The town has also made significant progress over the last couple of days. It looks like a lot of the debris has been moved away, so the streets and curbs look a lot more organized. They also have made the streets one way, which clears up some of the clutter. I actually bought a bike yesterday as my Father's Day gift just so I could get around a little easier (and let me say that the hill to our house is a real pain in the butt!).

Of course the volunteers are also still coming in groves. I was told today that the American Legion fed 300 people on Saturday and 400 on Sunday, there is enough bottled water to start a flood if we wanted, and I have already heard of MANY people/organizations who are starting donations.

Speaking of that, here's the address to send your donations if you want to help in that way (many of you have asked). However, we are still planning on having a golf tournament to help people who lost their homes sometime in July, so if you want to help in that way and have fun at the same time hold off on the donations (or make both if you want). I'm going to try my best to make the golf tournament a pretty big deal, which probably means I will fail miserably, but oh well.

P.O. BOX 321

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