2010.07.14 Ghosts or tornados, no dull moments while sleeping

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

I saw a ghost recently. Well, maybe I did and maybe I didn’t. I swear I saw one walk across the north end of my bedroom, partially disappear through the east wall, turn and grin at me, then vanish. It wasn’t in the form of any particular person, it was more like one of those Casper-like ones, similar to a Halloween costume.

I have a friend who has an interest in stories like this and she insisted on coming over and checking out the room. She thinks I was having a dream, but I’m quite sure I was at least semi-awake at the time. Besides, shortly after I moved to Fayette, a ceramic coil pot about three feet high shattered during the night. It was sitting in the bedroom in the path the ghost took. My friend wasn’t able to explain that.

She’s right to question if it was a dream, though. I’ve been known to have some odd ones. Usually, there’s some famous person in them I end up interacting with. Some of them are simply weird. A day after her visit, I had another, this time about a tornado.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by having one. After all, I lived through two tornados as a young boy during the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in 1965. The real surprise is that I didn’t have any nightmares at the time.

As is usual in my dreams, this one slices and dices time as it sees fit. It seems to be taking place in the present day as I am my current age. However, I was at the old homestead near Manitou Beach, even though it was torn down years ago. Attached to it was the one-car garage the 1965 tornados destroyed. Unfortunately, I never got to see if the 1964 Plymouth inside it at the time was there or some other vehicle from some other time. My 1979 Mustang, maybe? Or my first car, a 1971 Plymouth Satellite? Or perhaps the Studebaker I was brought home from Addison Hospital in?

And this dream included my mother, who passed away in 1979. That’s one advantage to the randomness of my dream elements. I often get to see long lost relatives. In this one, my mother has been monitoring the radio and we have been having various storm alerts all day. My brother Frank and I have been doing some project in the yard, except for the three or four times Mom has called us in due to reports of imminent doom.

Finally, without any warning, I notice a tornado coming straight for us. I point it out to Frank, but unfortunately, there isn’t time to head for the house. Oddly, this tornado’s funnel comes down to the ground, but it’s only about six inches wide at the bottom. It takes out a rose bush in the side yard and a jagged path of grass as it travels through the back yard and back into the sky. Although it came within ten feet of us, we didn’t feel a thing.

We were looking over the scant damage when I spotted something else in the sky. A beautiful parachute with harness, but no jumper, was floating down to a landing in the field next to the our yard. I was just grabbing it away from the wind gusts threatening to take it aloft again when I heard a strange voice yell, “Get a grip on it!” I did, and turned to see three men running toward me from a van parked nearby.

They explained that they had been chasing the parachute for nearly 100 miles after it had been caught in another tornado and separated from its jumper. I told them I was sorry and asked if they had found the jumper.

One of them laughed and said, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. That twister set him down in a wheat field just as easily as you could ask for. He’s sitting in our van. We’d like to take him to a doctor as a precaution, but he refuses until we recover his parachute. Thanks for grabbing it, we were afraid we’d be on its trail all day. Now we can finally go home.”

So the parachute I figured was going to be part of some gruesome story ended up with a happy ending after all. It’s just the latest in a so far never-ending string of strange dreams. The only certainty seems to be that until I get rid of that nagging need to go to sleep, I’ll keep having more of them.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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