Commemoration
Ceremony Events

Harry A. Pendergrass

I can remember that we went into the house because the weather was getting bad. My sister was in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal in the kitchen, I was trying to watch the new TV that we had gotten and my father was at the back door trying to keep it closed because the wind kept blowing it open. Mother was not home at the time, she was downtown shopping. My next memory was lying in a hospital bed asking my mother where my sister and father were and not believing her when she said they were gone. I was only four and a half at the time and just did not understand.

It must have been the most traumatic experience one could think of for my mother to come home and find her home and family gone. She was never the same afterwards. I know that she ran through the road block that had been set up and either hit a policeman or came close to it. It was something that she did not choose to talk about very often because the loss of her husband and daughter was too much for her to take. For a number of years she would have her yearly sad day on June 9th where she would talk about it.

I spent four months in the hospital (Hurley) and was in a cast for a month or so afterwards and I can remember rolling around in a wheel chair wherever I could in the hospital. The doctors gave me a squirt gun and told me to squirt the nurses. I lost more than one of them but do not remember getting yelled at by anyone except when I was caught by a doctor with a jaw breaker candy in my mouth and was still getting over a broken jaw. My mother said that I was miss-identified and that she claimed me after some argument with the people in charge. If you had known my mother, you would have figured out that she did not back down from anyone, ever.

My mother eventually got remarried and had another daughter and I recovered completely (they even took me in the Army) with a number of scars with which to cause curious small children to ask me what happened. The United Way (as it was called at the time) paid for my undergraduate degree from the monies it collected at the time from the community. I would like to thank everyone for that.

I do not like wind or heavy storms and have had a tornado skip over me while on the road once and had one just miss being called a tornado by the fact that it was not long enough. It is not wise to live near me in the summer.

 


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