I grew up as a child of the '60s. The moments where traumatic stress could have marred my psyche were many.
Assassinations, Manson murders, Vietnam, Kent State ... the list goes on and on, but none of these were the fodder for the recurring nightmare that lasted into my 20s.
Always the same dream, trying to retrieve my prized red tricycle, unable to run with legs heavy as lead, while my nemesis came roaring at me.
It sounded like a train running over the house, except it wasn't a train and it did miss, but only by 130 yards, or one good swing with a 9-iron.
Fifty years ago today at 5:35 p.m., an F3 tornado ripped a 6-mile long path through the Connecticut towns of Middlebury, Bunker Hill and Waterville before petering out near Wolcott. Our part lasted only seconds, after which bright sunlight came streaming in through the small basement windows, partially blocked by the massive Elm trees now decorating the front and side lawns.
Forty-nine houses and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. The roof was ripped off of the school gymnasium and my father's church was spread across the neighborhood with hymnals found blocks away. Yet amazingly, only one fatality.
(Bob was 3 at the time; I was a few days shy of my second birthday.)