Well, this past Saturday was my grandfather's 86th birthday. He is rocking and rolling and looking great!
I went down to see him and arrived as the rest of my family was leaving...this meant that I got to have him all to myself for the evening. Our conversation this time went something like this:
The news is on, grandfather is in his chair watching, talking with me a bit. Some story about a tornado comes on the screen.
Me: I'm sorry but I only recognize 4 seasons and that is "winter", "spring", "summer" and "fall". I will not move somewhere that has a "tornado season". Nope.
Grandfather: That reminds me of a delivery I had once. I was a driver for an airfreight company...and I had a trailer to deliver to an airport off of route 20. So I was driving and I get to the road where I have to turn left to head to the airport and some cops are blocking the street. They ask me where I think I'm going and I tell them that I have a delivery to make to the airport...up the road there...::points::
The officers tell me, "you can't go up there...there's a tornado!"
I didn't know what they were talking about. I couldn't see anything and we were in the northeast. You don't think these things could happen. So I go on down route 20 and take the next left I see. I pull over to go ask someone if I can use their phone to call my terminal and the man waves me inside saying there was a tornado in the area. You see, we didn't have radios for the trucks so I had to go to someone's house and ask if I could make a call. So I call the terminal and tell my boss, "I'm gonna have to turn around...the police have the road to the airport blocked off and there's a tornado in the area." They tell me "ok" and to come back. So I head back with my trailer full of supplies.
The next day I have another delivery to the airport. This time my trailer is filled with emergency supplies...generators, machinery, tools. And I think, this was serious. When I get closer to the airport I see trees knocked down and houses damaged. There was a McDonald's or something across from the airport and it was perfectly fine. I turn into the airport and there was a pile of airplanes and debris over two stories tall. There was an air museum that was caught in the tornado's path and they just bulldozed all the materials out of the way to open up the runways again. It was like the tornado played checkers...you know...jumping around. It would touch down, do it's damage for a bit then hop up and land in another spot to do damage. But in between was perfectly fine. It was in sections.
At this point, we moved off the subject of tornadoes and into other things...I forget what because I was furiously tapping notes into my phone.
Now, I just did some quick research into when this could have happened and it seems that the tornado in this story was perhaps this 1979 tornado in Connecticut. The details match pretty well (looking up on Google maps shows route 20 just south of the airport and considering the tornado moved north it would explain why he had no idea there was one) with what he told me, though I thought it was earlier in the century than that.
And in honor of my grandfather, here's a Model A roadster.