was working for the
Chemical Engineering department the summer the
tornado struck south Minneapolis - 1981?. Three of us rented the bottom
of an elegant duplex on Franklin Terrace, just across from a small
park near the Mississippi. We were near the
long Franklin Avenue Bridge. I was on campus working in
Amundson Hall when the tornado hit. Only one of my roommates on
Franklin Terrace was home. He said all the doors and windows rattled
as the tornado passed just over our house. There was a picture taken
from a high rise apartment building that made it into the Minneapolis
paper. If memory serves, you could see the funnel over our house
in the picture. This particular tornado was one of several that
skipped across south Minneapolis that afternoon. Our funnel dropped
down low over the Mississippi, crossed it, and then climbed the
east bank and took the roof off of a factory.
Steve was there when I got home, and he told me of his experience
in the house as the tornado went over. Then, since the power was out,
he left to go spend the night at his girlfriends. Tim, my other
roommate, arrived home shortly after Steve left. The authorities weren't
sure when the power would be restored, and it was getting dark. In
our bare feet (stupid) we walked up to Zipp's liquor and bought a case
of cheap beer. Probably Rhinelander. The whole way we had to avoid
broken shards of glass scattered everywhere.
Back home, we started playing cribbage and drinking beer. I think
maybe one other time we put shoes on and wandered around looking
at the damage. There was lots of debris scattered around, but not a
lot of real damage around our place. We went back home and ended up
playing cribbage again. It's strange Ann, Tim's girlfriend, wasn't
around. She was my unofficial 4th roommate. Anyway, when it got
too dark to play by light of day we lit candles and played cards
way into the night. We played on a large rectangular "dining room table"
I made out of the bunk bed frame I made in the dorm. Tim attended
my high school, and we were on
the tennis team together. We knew each other well. I will
always remember drinking beer and
playing cribbage all night by candlelight. Just good friendship,
plain and simple.
Tim and Ann at Franklin Terrace.