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.
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!)