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In the summer of 1982, I was living by myself in a trailer house after graduating from high school, biding my time until leaving for college.


One day after getting home from work, I decided to take a quick nap before catching that day’s "Lone Ranger" episode. During that nap I was awakened by voices outside my trailer, and got up to see a couple guys sipping beers and pointing to the sky. I had earlier noticed that the sky to the west was looking like it would rain or storm, but it now looked like something serious was heading our way.


So I went to the TV to watch for weather bulletins during my show as I sat in my overstuffed chair. The bulletins went from "tornado watch" to "tornado warning" in a short period of time.


Did I mention I was in a trailer house?


Soon the winds picked up and the rain came pouring down, and the trailer began to shake. I literally though, "I’m going to die. This trailer is going to go flying and I’ll end up in Kansas or something (I lived in south central South Dakota)."


During the height of the storm, I thought I heard a faint honking. I looked out my door, and there was my dad in his government-issued SUV. He was less than 10 feet from my door, but could barely hear the horn due to the noise of the storm. He knew that I would be a bit scared (okay, REALLY scared) and came to bring me from what I thought to be certain death. My first thought was, "I’m saved!!" And bounded out to his vehicle.


As certain as I was that I was going to die, I was now just as certain that I was safe. Until I figured out what Dad was really doing.


You see, he’s a trained tornado spotter. He had no intention of going home and hunkering down in the basement like a sensible person would do. Uh-uh. He was going to FIND THE TORNADO.


I tried to tell him that gowing TOWARD a tornado wasn’t the smartest move, but it fell on deaf ears.


Folks, I was scared spitless.


And don’t even get me started about spiders…