Let­ter To The Edi­tor

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - OPINION -

To the Edi­tor:

I do not see the En­ter­prise-Leader, but one of my sis­ters called my at­ten­tion to the story on Feb. 7 re­gard­ing Billy Dee Os­born’s 90th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. I add my con­grat­u­la­tions to him on his longevity. I re­mem­ber grow­ing up hear­ing my mother more than once re­count the story of his nar­row and un­usual es­cape from the fury of the 1928 Lin­coln tor­nado as an in­fant.

While I have no de­sire to de­tract from his amaz­ing story, I do know an­other per­son still liv­ing who sur­vived the storm— my old­est sis­ter, Lou­etta Cheatham Ho­gins, 93 years of age. She lives in Jones­boro, Ark., near her daugh­ter. Our par­ents, Wade and Joyce Cheatham, lived about a quar­ter of a mile north of the Os­born house on Jack­son High­way.

Sens­ing a storm ap­proach­ing, Wade, with his hand on the door han­dle, was pre­par­ing to take wife and 3-yearold daugh­ter across the road to a storm cel­lar. A de­lay find­ing Lou­etta’s shoes found them hav­ing to ride out the storm in the house. The door was torn out of his hands and off its hinges, the house was twisted around and off its foun­da­tion, all the win­dows blown out, ashes sucked out of the wood burn­ing stove to coat ev­ery­thing in the house, and bro­ken dishes were scat­tered in every part of the house. They saw their Model T Ford lifted and car­ried away a great dis­tance to­ward the woods. Re­mark­ably, they found Lou­etta’s lit­tle red wagon un­touched in the yard where it had been be­fore the storm and the shoes were found on a life-sized doll. Lou­etta con­tin­ues to be­lieve that the de­lay over her shoes likely saved three lives.

As I think about it, I ac­tu­ally know an­other per­son who sur­vived the storm — in the womb — my older brother, Willis. Willis and his wife He­len, re­side in Lit­tle Rock near their youngest son. If I have in mind the cor­rect date for the tor­nado, April 4, 1928, he was born about 43 days later on May 17. Carl Wade Cheatham Mont­gomery, Ala.

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