Destroyed home in Moore, Oklahoma. If you look closely you will see a Barons poster tacked up among the rubble. (Photo: Courtesy of Eric Rodgers, May 2013)

Destroyed home in Moore, Oklahoma. If you look closely you will see a Barons poster tacked up among the rubble. (Photo: Courtesy of Eric Rodgers. All Rights Reserved. May 2013)

Nature always has a way of giving us a reality check – and last week’s tornadoes in Oklahoma did precisely that with a vengeance. My friends from out-of-state wrote and called to check if I was okay and if I lived in any of the affected areas, and some even went as far as to tell me to get out of this crazy tornado state. I was born in Oklahoma and grew up with the unpredictable weather, tornadoes and many trips to the cellar, so bad weather is nothing new, but last week was, to put it bluntly, frightening. I have survived earthquakes and fires in Los Angeles (Northridge 1994!) and hurricanes in the Chesapeake Bay and Washington, DC area, but this was heartbreaking.

Watching it unfold on TV, while worrying about friends in those affected areas, was surreal, and by that afternoon and evening we knew some of the worst. It is difficult to grasp the truth in these situations, but it arrived harshly in the stark, vivid images and death toll. That evening a friend sent photos of his house – nothing more than a pile of sticks really, twisted and broken, and among the wreckage four cars – three their own, and one neighbor’s car, placed on top, like a cake decoration.

Oklahoma City has a wonderful hockey community – most who have lived here for years know almost everyone, and newcomers, such as myself, have over a short time met many of that group. That day made us aware of just how many of our tightly knit hockey group live in Moore, Oklahoma. Many lived right in the path while others live only blocks away. We thought hockey bonded us, but May 20th brought us even closer together.

To the right of the red barn is a flipped camper among the rubble. (Photo: Courtesy of Eric Rodgers. All Rights Reserved. May 2013)

To the right of the red barn is a flipped camper trailer among the rubble. (Photo: Courtesy of Eric Rodgers. All Rights Reserved. May 2013)

Thank you, Eric Rodgers for the use of your photos.

Links to articles about the OKC Barons and others in the OKC hockey community assisting in the tornado disaster relief:

AHL President Dave Andrews:

Published on May 21, 2013

OKCBarons.com talks to Barons players about the devastating and deadly tornado that tore through the community on May 20, 2013.

Published on May 23, 2013

OKC Barons players Kendall McFaull, David Musil, Travis Ewanyk and Martin Gernat help donate items collected at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena to Moore.

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