First off, thanks to everyone who checked in and voiced their concern about our well-being in the aftermath of the May 20th and May 31st tornadoes in the central Oklahoma area. We were well north of the Moore storm (if one can consider 12 miles “well north” when considering the track of a mile wide tornado), not quite as far north of the May 31 storm, and we are all safe and sound.
In addition to all the check ins, many people have asked my opinion on the tragic deaths of storm chasers during the May 31st storms. While I certainly have my thoughts on what happened to Tim Samaras, his son Paul, and fellow chaser Carl Young, it is only my opinion and purely speculative. I wasn’t in the field that day and, even after chasing off and on for over 25 years, I still don’t feel like I’m experienced enough to speak with authority on what might have occurred. And, as my theory about what might have happened wouldn’t do a thing to bring those men back, I’ll leave it to the hope that they find their video equipment to provide the answer as to what went wrong that day.
I will say, the fourth “chaser” who died that day had no business chasing a tornado and, while he was chasing a storm, he was apparently more of thrill chaser who got in way over his head on a monstrous, ugly storm. While his death was unfortunate. I knew sooner or later that a “storm chaser” who had no business actually chasing storms would one day be killed. If any good can come from his passing, I hope it’s that thrill chasers will remember that the danger of storm chasing will always far outweigh the reward of getting some up close and wild reality video. (Oh, and if you want an idea of what real storm chasers were dealing with on May 31st, read the story from my friend David Ewoldt at his website, okweatherwatch.com. Dave’s description of his experience aptly illustrates why I don’t chase too much these days, and it is also through Dave’s generosity that I’m using his photo at the top).
Finally, since this is most often an advertising blog, I wanted to share one of my favorite ads that showed up in the area in the aftermath of the Moore tornado. From Starbucks, it’s s simple message of hope and concern, rendered to look like the info boxes on the side of one of their cups, with the last box in the shape of the state of Oklahoma. That the Starbucks name and logo are both cut off the edge of the ad only endears this ad to me even more. I thought it was simple, tasteful, and incredibly well done. Though it may no longer be accessible in their archives, you can see this ad as it appeared in the Daily Oklahoman here.
So once again, a sincere thank you to all of you for all your concern, check ins, good wishes, and donations toward Oklahoma’s tornado recovery. And thank you to everyone at Starbucks, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the United Way of Central Oklahoma, and everyone who has stepped up to help Oklahoma’s tornado victims recover and rebuild.