The hailstorm some parts of McCook received Tuesday afternoon was the worst storm I've been in since my car was totally destroyed, with me in it, in a hailstorm on I-40 in Oklahoma back in 1973. Every window was knocked out, every piece of chrome knocked off and there was no place you could put a finger without sticking it in a dent. There was a group of five cars that pulled onto the shoulder of the Interstate when the first huge hail stone pounded the highway from the sky and the other four cars were destroyed too. We had to wait for an Oklahoma Highway Patrol escort us to the nearest truck stop and then we had to call friends or relatives to come and get us.
The damage this week to houses on the golf course as well as the golf course itself, the Coppermill Restaurant, Walmart and cars in the Walmart parking lot was truly tragic. I heard several different people describe the area as a "war zone" and it certainly looked the part. Siding was stripped off, garage doors were ripped out, windows were shattered and roofs were destroyed. The only good thing about the results of the storm was that no one was seriously injured or killed, which is always a real possibility when hail stones the size of baseballs are raining down from the sky and blown about by 60 mph winds.
Jim Lemon's house was severely damaged by the storm but he said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who stopped by and offered to help, some he didn't even know. That's the spirit of the heartland that is so endearing to me and others and why many of us choose to call this area home.
The stock market took a roller coaster ride this week, going either up or down more than 400 points for each of the first four days of the week and that has never happened before in the history of the Dow. If you had the assets to ride out the storm, you probably weren't hurt too bad but many people don't have that luxury and, consequently, saw their savings wiped out and perhaps their retirement along with it. Tough economic times continue to persist with no real end in sight.
Tiger Woods, at one time and for a long time, the best golfer in the world, shot a 7-over-par 77 on the first day of the PGA Championship being played in Atlanta, Georgia this week. His last three years have been plagued by rampant marital infidelity and physical injury and there is great doubt that he will ever regain the form he once had that literally intimidated his opponents into submission. Tiger has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse in a relatively short period of time and I'm not sure he's going to be able to climb out of it.
Finally, my best friend all the way through public school and into college died Tuesday night. He was a strapping, handsome guy who I can't ever recall being sick and he never stayed home because he couldn't get a date. The cause of death was an aggressive cancer. I remember when my aunt was diagnosed with cancer when I was 10 years old and I took some solace in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to worry about cancer when I got to be her age because it would be cured. That was 50 years ago and no cure is yet in sight.