Thinking 'tornado' when thinking of Stinnett

Posted by John Kanelis

There once was a time when I thought of Donny Anderson, the great football player, whenever I thought of Stinnett, Texas.

That was until I saw the video attached to this post. It comes from Panhandle PBS’s “Panhandle Stories” series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the arrival of public television to the Texas Panhandle.

I’ll now think “tornado” and then I’ll recall the recovery effort that transpired after a near-tragedy.

Wesley Jarvis tells a compelling story in the two-plus minutes of this video. It’s about a tornado that tore across his farm. It destroyed his house and, as he said, would have killed “some or all of us” had they stayed in the building when the tornado blew the structure apart.

Nature can be merciless, as Jarvis tells PanhandlePBS.org readers in this brief video.

However, as unforgiving and merciless as Mother Nature can be, the people of the Hutchinson County seat community are full of compassion, grace, togetherness and love, Jarvis noted.

The community rallied en masse behind Jarvis and his family as they sought to rebuild their home and their lives. He tells of cars lining up as far as he could see on the road in front of his farm and of people combing through the wreckage to salvage what they could for their stricken neighbor family.

The Jarvises recovered. Their lives were restored. They are grateful for the community that came to their side.

It’s a “Panhandle Story” worth telling and retelling.

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