Photographs hold our memories that go beyond the whirl of tornadoes

A tornado is a terrible thing – as many people in Logan and Clovis have come to know first-hand.

Those winds, which the National Weather Service said peaked at 105 mph, did terrible damage to Logan. They took off roofs, slapped houses on top of cars, spread people’s belongings far, far away.

Insurance, aid from the state, and, possibly, from the federal government, will help. But the tornado blew away more than roofs, more than houses.

What people in Logan are missing most, several people told, is their memories, their family photographs that were blown away.

Photos of their kids in their baptismal dresses. Photos of the kids when they were babies. First communion photos. Wedding photos. Photos taken in and around their now missing homes. They’re all gone. And deeply missed.

Those photographs are more than the images they carried.

They are reminders. They are reminders of family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, weddings, births.

A photograph can remind people of what food they ate and who cooked it. A photograph can not only show how the room was decorated but be a reminder of how Uncle Frank told his favorite joke, again. And when he’d told it before.

A photograph can bring back precious memories. Of parents. Of children in mothers’ arms, in cribs, in school, on their high school teams and at their weddings.
What precious memories a simple photograph can bring to mind.

Yes, the people of Logan are yearning to somehow recover the images of their loved ones, relatives who died, the faces of children caught in their youthful exuberance.
Those photographs are important. And everybody knows it. I saw one lady carrying a torn 5 by 7 photo and several smaller photos she had found in the dirt. She said she was going to take them to lost and found at the village office.

So some of the lost memories, history may be found.

But whether the photos are found or not, people talking about those missing photographs is really a happy reminder that Logan was blessed … just one person sustained a serious, but not life threatening, injury.

The effects of the tornado could have been worse. And the people of Logan would today have been talking, not about missing photographs, but missing people.

Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or by emailing: chelle_delaney@link.freedom.com