The other day was the 25th anniversary of the Plainfield tornado. It hit in 1990 and my life was forever changed. I lost my house, school, and church and sadly even lost people I knew. It was something I will never forget. I have posted on my blog several times about my experience and shared pictures. It is still hard to talk about and it was a very emotional ceremony. Because it was a such a traumatic experience, I wanted to be part of this ceremony. I was interviewed and allowed to tell my story. I shared photos and newspaper clippings that I had saved. I also volunteered to be part of the ceremony. I handed out flyers and books and talked to the Herald News.
Here is the memorial to that we remember the 29 souls who lost their lives to mother nature that day.
It was full of people including reporters such as this guy here....Tom Skilling!
The ceremony itself was bittersweet. It was a chance to remember the victims and celebrate community.
After the ceremony, there was a presentation at the high school with Tom Skilling, Steve Baskerville from channel 2 and meteorologist Tom Servatka. They discussed how weather forecasting has changed since that terrible day in August of 1990. They discussed how it was like a wake up call to to meteorologists. They still use it to help them to this day as our tornado still remains the only F5 tornado in the U.S. in August. All of them were very good speakers. Tom even choked up talking about it and it was very emotional to watch and listen. He really takes that storm to heart.
Afterwards, I waited around because I wanted to meet my weather idol Tom Skilling. I took a picture of Steve while I waited.
After I was surprised to get invited to a special dinner with some of the committee members, Father Medow (who married us), and Tom Hernandez (my school district's community relations person) and Tom Skilling himself! We went to Hop Scotch and Vine in downtown Plainfield. I was starstruck. You see I watch this man every night to see his weather report. His weather reports blow my mind and you can see his passion for the weather come out in his newscast.
Meeting him meant a lot to me. I swear that if I wasn't a teacher, I'd be in meteorology too. I became super interested in weather after the tornado and still am. He is so knowledgeable about it and we talked weather for like 2 hours! I could listen to him talk all day.
He is the most genuine, kindest person I have ever met. He just is so positive and upbeat and full of compliments to everyone he meets. He was commenting on the decor of the restaurant and the food.
I even got to sit next to him at dinner. We both had chicken that was delicious. All though I had some beers, Tom drank pop. Again, super excited. He talked mostly through dinner and I just sat in awe. He likes to talk and that's why the presentation ran over quite a bit.
When it was time to wrap things up, I asked for one last quick selfie with my idol. It seriously made my night. Heck, it made my year!
He is super cool and I am one of his biggest fans! I can't say enough good things about Tom! Thank you the library especially Tina for allowing me to help and allowing me to be a part of this special dinner. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity.