A Kansas Tornado Memory – 1940s

Gail Martin’s sister, CJ Garriott wrote about her memories of a tornado. This storm would have been in the 1940s, I’m thinking.
One of the most vivid memories I have of Mother’s apron is when we were hustling down into the storm cellar at the Seeley Lease, where I’m looking up past Daddy’s shoulder at the rotating cloud coming right at us as he pulled the door shut. I had the cat in my arms, Skippy the dog had gone down ahead of me, and Mother had led the way with the baby chickens gathered in her apron! The little twister tore up the chicken house and tossed some stuff around, but no major damage.
She wrote the memory above in 2011, so 70 years after seeing that tornado, the event was still vivid in her mind. CJ gave me this timeline for the event, ” I went to 2nd grade through 6th grade at the 1-room Seeley School when we lived on the Seeley Lease, so this happened somewhere in-between 1941 to 1945.”

Her niece, Cynthia Jo Ross liked the story so much, that she asked to use it in her program on vintage aprons.  “It will really add to the program if included.  The collection started because of mom’s award-winning story about Ruth; then I started collecting aprons at thrift stores or estate sales.

Long before that Mom made me a beautiful floor-length red apron maybe 15 or 20 years ago. I’ve used that apron often and then Mom used it for a couple programs and when displaying the wagon wheel rugs.”

Gail Lee Martin in red apron

Gail Lee Martin talks about aprons and their history.

“Just recently my granddaughter used it at school.  She was playing the part of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her mother had to pin it up quite a bit to fit her,” Cynthia explained.

(Last night, a tornado hit the small Kansas town of Eureka. That’s the town that features in some of Gail’s 1930s memories. Here’s a description of it, ” EF3 tornado, on ground 2 miles, wide as 2 football fields. 77 blocks wrecked. 8 people injured, 1 critically. One newscaster reported that if they put the tracks of this tornado with the one 2 years ago, they would make an X in town.”)

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