Letter To The Editor
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.