Archive for Murfeesboro Tornado

Murfreesboro revisited

Posted in Murfeesboro Tornado, Personal with tags , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by brettvanort

Got back from Murfreesboro two days ago.  I was there for too short a period of time.  I arrived on Friday late and left on a Tuesday early and got back to London on Wednesday early.  I’m still a bit jet lagged and yesterday morning I woke up and couldn’t tell if I was in Nashville, London, a plane or all three at one time.

Seeing Cabinwood really was like a kick in the stomach.  Pictures really can’t do justice to what happened.  I wasn’t exactly prepared for how I would feel, what it would look like, how I would react to seeing the rest of my family there.  Thank God the Nelson’s have a wacky sense of humor.  Everyone seems to be taking it in stride and dealing with the reality of the situation rather well.

Looking downstream at the creek that runs through Cabinwood.

Looking downstream at the creek that runs through Cabinwood.

Elle at Creek before after

Eleanor had to stay in London.

The photographs on the right are of course what things look like today.  I couldn’t get the exact framing of any of these shots as the water level is so high.  They’ve had an awfully wet May in Tennessee but I think you get an idea of the tree cover that was lost.The hay bales were stacked by the city to prevent erosion.  There were many damns created in the creek by the tree debris that gathered in spots.  There was a sense of openness created by the lack of trees.  It was a strange feeling, to see the sky in this world that is usually so densely forested in my mind.  I’ve never been to Brazil, but I felt the sense that I was on the outskirts of a rain forest that had just been logged.  I kept trying to remember distinct trees when I looked at the stumps remaining.

A logger told Johnny this was the biggest Eastern Cedar he'd ever seen.

A logger told Johnny this was the biggest Eastern Cedar he'd ever seen.

But I couldn’t remember singular trees.  This cedar is a great example of what I mean.  If someone that makes their living off of trees says that this could be the largest specimen he’s ever seen of this particular tree then it surely must have made an impression on me.  I was aware in all my journeys to Cabinwood how great the place was in its natural setting.  But I couldn’t grasp what these trees looked like singularly.  I could only precieve the trees as a collective.  It might seem a simple idea, why would I know one tree from another?  There isn’t really a reason why I should.  But I found it strange how I could only think of the trees, and the farm as their collective whole and not individual parts.  I guess it gives a whole new meaning to the saying seeing the forest for (through) the trees.


Cabinwood Pictures

Posted in Murfeesboro Tornado, Personal with tags , , , on April 13, 2009 by brettvanort

An old friends of my mother’s, Betsy Clark sent me several shots of what the farm looks like now.  It’s really devastating to see.  I pasted the two shots that closely resemble each other to show a before and after.cabinwood-frontMy mom says that so many have been out to help with the clean up and that it helps with all the love and support the Nelson’s have received.  I still wish I was there though.cabinwood-sideAs I sit here and do this I still don’t actually know what it would feel like to see it.  I’m sure it’s a sickening feeling to see it in person.  I have to say that when I first saw the pictures from Betsy I almost started crying.  I’m just hoping that everything that is still there can be somewhat salvaged.cabinwood-back1I hope that this helps rather than hurts everyone that views these that has a connection to the place.  My school reopens today and although I am finishing up a mid-term project, I plan on seeing what other negatives I may have of the farm to scan and post.

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