Mother’s Day, Dennis and I went for breakfast..Well…we drove through McDonalds (Mickey D’s) for a couple breakfast burritos and some hash browns..We had our thermo pot of coffee with us. When we travel with the Hiker we always take our travel coffee mugs and our thermo pot for refills. Even though we didn’t have the Hiker lashed on, we did have a bit of a “road trip” in mind that morning.
Some of you might have heard of the Northern Illinois tornado (an F-4) that hit a small town called Fairdale…That town is about 50 miles North of where we live. Right after it happened, the town was off limits to the public ..a few reporters were allowed in. Later, quite a few people took the drive to see the destruction. We waited almost a month to go…giving the people a little time to begin the healing process ( 2 people were killed) . Here is a map of Fairdale, IL, population in 2010 was 150 people.
We were about the only car driving through. Most of the debris and demolished homes had been cleaned up..Let me say this..Dennis and I didn’t go there to be gawkers or to poke our noses into their misery. We never got out of the GMC, drove slowly through the streets and left quietly..There were very few homes still standing and the orange fence was marking the foundations to keep people from wandering through…I will let the photos speak to you about the spirit of the families that call Fairdale home ..
As I said, it was almost totally void of homes..all that remained was foundations to mark where the homes had been.
Someone put this statue in what’s left of a large tree, right, notice the chair and vase of flowers in front of this foundation..
Cars thrown like toys…and huge trees ripped by their roots from the ground…
A lone dresser sits on this one….. and a green grill sits in front of this foundation on the right…
Just a few homes remained…I love this last one..The American Flag and a heart…This speaks volumes of Fairdale people and their spirit!
And this is what I meant by “gut check”…Compared to these brave survivors, I have NO problems…and no words .