Old glory was battered but still hanging on, as 76 year-old Jack Wilkerson surveyed the damage to his house.
"I'm getting too old for this," he said.
He was home when the tornado struck without warning.
"It just came in out of nowhere," he said.
The suddenness took Flo and Edna Mae by surprise as well. Two of several hound dogs that took off running when the twister hit their yard.
"And there was one down on a lady's porch, it was this one, Flo, and she said, I'm not moving. I found a porch, there' soothing blowing on me and she wouldn't move for 2 hours either. They were in shock," said Susan Lawson.
That feeling, of being in shock, is something Chaplain Bunny Yekzaman helps people deal with in the aftermath.
"They see the word chaplain and they just put their arms around me, and a lot of times it's just to listen, let them kind of talk through their storm story," she said.
"The whole neighborhood is just…"
Those loss of words belong to Glen Rice. Who came back to town to see the house he grew up in and to send pictures to his brother.
"I know he's going to be disappointed," he said.
Meanwhile, back at Mr. Wilkerson's…
His phone has been ringing non-stop with folks from far and wide checking up on him.
"Friends, neighbors, people I went to school with," he said.
He can tell them about the house that gives new meaning to the phrase everything but the kitchen sink, or the sheet metal draped on a limb like a towel hanging out to dry, or the tools perfectly in position in the garage that's somehow still standing; and then there's the newly installed paneling.
"Got a piece of paneling on the side over there, that the wind slammed it in so hard it drove the nails into the side of the house," he said.
Scenes of the surreal at every turn, making the sight of a new day, the most surreal of all.
"People kept coming out and going we're ok, we're ok, and I go, 'Then everything's OK," said Lawson.
"This old house can be built back yet, but I just got but one life, and I ain't got much of it left as old as I am so I want every day I can get," said Wilkerson.
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