Before storm sirens, before the Weather Channel, before Doppler Radar, a tornado "dropped out of a troubled May sky and twisted its way into our lives forever." On the evening of May 20,1957 three communities south of Kansas City, Missouri were destroyed by a seventy-one mile, F-5 twister. This monstrous storm left in its path five hundred injured, forty-four dead and over a million dollars worth of property damage.
Nothing defines a community more than its reaction to disaster. Caught In The Path is a story of fear and courage, suffering and resiliency. The hardest hit area, four year old Ruskin Heights, was the first post-war tract housing development in the Kansas City area. Like so many of their generation, its residents, mostly first time home buyers in their twenties and thirties, came to Ruskin to raise their baby-boom families with the optimism of the fifties. When the tornado scattered their dreams along its path, they came back, and changed a housing development into a community.
Author Carolyn Glenn Brewer's family was among those caught off guard by the tornado. Most of the houses on her block were leveled to the foundation. She combines her story with extensive interviews from nearly one hundred survivors and period media coverage. The narrative flow of this book reads like fiction, but makes the tornado, and the summer that followed, pulse with reality.
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Ms. Brewer weaves a fascinating account of this terrible disaster as seen through the eyes of survivors, including herself, who lived the terrifying event. It should serve as a reminder that... this kind of tragedy could happen again. (Fred Ostby, Former Director, National Severe Storms Forecast Center)
Carolyn Glenn Brewer is a fine writer who captures the drama and excitement of a horrendous moment...the night the tornado swept across our area. (Walt Bodine, Talk Show Host KCUR Public Radio)
The Ruskin Heights tornado struck while many Americans were still caught up in a post-war euphoria. Carolyn Glenn Brewer succeeds in communicating the experiences of survivors, enabling the reader to sense the terror, grief and hope of those touched by the disaster. (Anne Chiarelli Jones, Director of Collections, Johnson County, Kansas Museum)About the Author:
Social historian and Ruskin tornado survivor, Carolyn Glenn Brewer, grew up in Ruskin Heights and now lives in Kansas City with her husband and four children. Although this is her first published book, her previous works include Home like a Prairie Fugue: The Story of a Generation, and numerous short stories.
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Book Description Prairie Fugue Books, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110965577406