You may have noticed a lapse since my last post about life in Reading, but there’s a good reason: I went home!
A good friend got married, I met my new niece Katherine and I also saw my brother graduate from uni.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the Heartland has been so lucky these last few weeks. You probably heard about the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri (where my high school marching band visited for a festival back in the day). The tornado killed at least 132 people and left the community looking like a war zone.
Earlier that week, another tornado struck Reading, Kansas. One person died and 20 homes destroyed. It is a devastating situation for a community of 231 people.
According to Wikipedia:
On May 21, 2011 around 9:15PM, an EF3 tornado hit Reading. It was three blocks wide and stayed on the ground for about four miles. The tornado destroyed at least 56 of 110 homes and 14 of 21 businesses. The post office and fire station suffered major damage. One person died and two were hospitalized. Early damage estimates topped $2.2 million.
That is astonishing: two in three businesses were destroyed, and every other home decimated.
We are connected. Reading, Kansas, is named after Reading, Pennsylvania, and Reading, Pennsylvania, is named after Reading, Berkshire. We are linked in name and by history. (To find out more, read about the Reading, Pennsylvania, connection here and the Reading, Kansas, connection here.) At the end of the day, we are all Revellers.
For me, home is Kansas. Since living in Berkshire, I have certainly come to enjoy many fine restaurants in Reading, fun fairs in Prospect Park, and more. But it’s always good to take a jaunt down the yellow brick road and remember the sacred fragility of life.