First, let me just say…RIP Bill Paxton. That guy was great.

He had a great career, and a life too short. But with roles in Weird Science, Terminator, Aliens, Navy Seals, True Lies and Apollo 13, Titanic, The Hatfields and McCoys, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, he left his mark on the nerd genre.

And then there was the little 1996 picture known as Twister. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the topic of today’s post.

Not the movie, but tornadoes.

You see, I live in a part of the world known as “Tornado Alley.” Tornadoes are unpredictable as hell. When they hit, they are devastating. They can even stop a Superman in his tracks, which was unfortunate since I was so hopeful that Kevin Costner would be a solid Pa Kent. But that wasn’t the case, or at least not in the way we thought.

“Stop! Collaborate and listen!”

A couple years ago, a couple tornadoes ripped through Illinois, both north and south of my location at the time. This is a picture of Washington, IL after the storm.

On February 29, 2012, an EF4 tornado woke up the small town of Harrisburg, IL. I’ve been to Harrisburg, years ago, back when I was in college. Southeastern Illinois College had a good basketball team. They were in our conference. So I had been there. This was the Catholic Church after the tornado.

Now, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never been through one. But it got close in my radio days. So when that happened, I went into shelter mode and would broadcast from under the desk.

I remember having a backpack of tornado preparedness when I was in my teens. I had a walkman with headphones, a flashlight, and a granola bar I swapped out every couple months or so. It also had a novelty baseball helmet, you know…just in case.

Here’s what I’ve learned. Every region of the country has its unavoidable geographic anomalies. The Midwest has tornadoes. California has earthquakes. Florida has Hurricanes. The northeast has Patriots fans. It’s really summed up in this clip from Sports Illustrated’s Greatest Sports Follies (1989): 

So that’s my post about tornado season. Thanks to Jay for the topic. I think I’ve proven in the last 3+ weeks that I’ll write about damn near anything. Have a topic idea? Leave it in the comments.