Rebuilding Joplin

It’s been well over a year since Joplin was devastated by a massive tornado.  Clean-up crews worked hard for months just to clear streets and remove debris.  Many of the commercial sites (like Wal-Mart and Home Depot) have been rebuilt, but some residential areas are still empty.

Lot after lot stretching out in the distance with just some concrete pads.

Why?  Because many areas of Joplin just weren’t that affluent.  When people lost everything, they simply packed up and left instead of rebuilding.  Many lower-income apartments were completely leveled.  The good news:  many new apartments and duplexes have been built.  The bad news:  most of them are no longer low income housing.

They might look great, but the people who used to live there can’t afford it.

We took a trip last month to take new pictures of the area.  All procceds in 4th quarter 2012 from The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch will go to Rebuilding Joplin.

When we lived in Joplin 1990-1992, we lived in an apartment on this once BUSY street.  I wouldn’t even recognize this area now if I didn’t have the street signs for reference.  The entire apartment complex and exercise facility behind it are gone.

This is where our favorite grocery store used to be.  It’s still just an empty parking lot.

This is where the high school used to be.  It’s an enormous hole in the ground now, and the students are using a large department store at the mall in the meantime.

This is all that’s left of the original high school.

This tree manages to break my heart and yet sing with hope at the same time.  You can tell from the broken branches that the tornado killed it and nearly twisted it completely out of the ground, yet it managed to hold firm.  Now painted in vibrant designs, it stands in a completely empty lot and promises that the heart of Joplin still beats strong and sure, despite the broken branches.

I’ve blogged about Mythos many times, and after I was assured my beloved sister was okay, my next thought was for Mythos and all the people we know there.  It’s almost like God drew His finger along Rangeline and jumped across the street…. to spare Mythos.  The tornado managed to veer just enough, destroying everything (including large Wal-Mart and Home Depot buildings) across the street.  There was some minor damage to the pillars outside, but the restaurant and the people we know there were spared (although the owner was INSIDE Wal-Mart when the tornado hit).

The monsters love Mythos as much as we do.  And yes, in my mind, Remy’s in The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch might look just a little like Mythos.  I hope I captured the same delicious food and warm, welcoming atmosphere of our favorite restaurant!

(Yes, they DO have Death By Chocolate Cake on the menu!)

 

Happy October: Zombies are Here!

The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch is live at Smashwords and should be up at B&N and Amazon shortly (I’ve submitted them, at least).  If you click either on the link or the cover in the sidebar, you can read an excerpt and the first review.

Since this is a self-pub venture, I need reviews even more than usual.  If you’re willing to post a rating/review online, please drop me a note with your desired format and I’ll get you a review copy.

ALL PROCEEDS (I mean all – I’ve paid for the cover and editing out of my other royalties) in 4th quarter, 2012 will go to Rebuild Joplin.  (Remember the tornado?)

Why?  I have a personal connection to Joplin.  Early in our marriage, That Man and I lived there for nearly 3 years while I finished my undergraduate degree at Missouri Southern.  My beloved sister has lived in Joplin for more than ten years and also graduated from Missouri Southern.  I praise God every day that she wasn’t anywhere near the devastation area when the tornado hit, but her place of employment was completely wiped out.  She’s had to drive down familiar streets that look like a bomb went off and leveled the entire area.

Yes it’s been more than a year, but some parts of Joplin still look empty and broken.  Tomorrow, I’ll post some pictures we took just last month.  Along with some pictures of Mythos, our favorite restaurant that inspired Remy’s.

In the meantime, please help spread the word any way you can.  Thank you!

Mythos, Joplin Update

I noticed quite a few hits to my blog from people looking to see if Mythos survived the tornado.  Damon, superstar waiter at Mythos (ask for him, he’s great), says on Facebook that the restaurant is fine.  South of Mythos…not so good.  George (the owner) was inside Wal-Mart when the storm hit, but he’s okay, just banged up a bit.

I’ve heard from Molly tonight — they’re all buckled down and braced for another round of weather.  Please pray that Joplin is spared any further damaging weather!

Joplin Tornado

I’ve talked about my Beloved Sister too many times to count here.   Molly lives in the Joplin, MO, area which was devastated by a massive EF4 tornado last night, but she’s fine.  Everyone I personally know in Joplin — including George, the owner of Mythos (which I’ve also raved about several times!), and our favorite waiter, Damon — are also okay.  I don’t know about their homes but we’ve connected with them on Facebook.

We didn’t even know about the storm until my Dad called and said Joplin had been hit, but he’d already talked to Molly and she was okay.  He warned us to get home as quickly as possible because the storm was headed right for us.  We hit Walgreens quickly and before we could get home, the tornado sirens started.

If I’d known at the time how bad Joplin had been hit, I might have been even more worried.  The kids and dogs hung out in the basement while we tracked the storm on the news.  I saw the storm passing a good ten miles south of us, so I wasn’t too worried.

Then the pictures from Joplin started coming in….

Sobs.  It’s so hard to realize that we were just there Saturday.  We drove down Rangeline Road and passed that Wal-Mart that is now just a pile of rubble.  As far as I know, Mythos is still there, but the other side of Rangeline is a tangled mass of trashed cars and destroyed buildings.  Rangeline, a major commercial road, is completely impassible.

I’m just so thankful that everyone we know and love are safe, but it’s going to take a long, long time for the area to recover.  Molly’s office building is completely gone.  The major hospital in Joplin, evacuated.  The high school, gone.  Over 2000 buildings damaged or completely destroyed.  If you’d like to help, this local website has details.

Please keep Joplin in your thoughts and prayers!