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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A stranger's kindness

Thursday, February 28, 2008

(Photo)
Junior Roberts and Dr. Don Lamoureaux Photo by Jody Shackelford
Billmore, Mo., man returns items to Highland businesses

With the destruction of the Feb. 5 tornado some residents and business owners who were hit by the storm continue to look for their belongings and some find them in the oddest places.

David and Georgia Harris, owners of Highland Window and Door, had an unexpected surprise this President's Day. A stranger brought them a handful of documents he found on his 1,500 acre farm in Billmore, Mo.

"It's all outdated stuff, but I wanted to return it," said Junior Roberts from inside the Harris' temporary store in the annex behind Alco.

The pile of documents include receipts, charge tickets for fuel, bank statements and cancelled checks. The documents date back as far as 1977.

The Harrises, who have had their shop in Highland for 30 years, said they have had other items returned locally from residents in Highland and in Ash Flat; however, none from as far away as Roberts' farm.

Roberts said he has been finding items from across the region in his pastures since the morning after the storm. He even found the sign from Family Medical Clinic in mint condition in his field. The sign was originally located on a building in Midway Plaza that was the home to Dr. Don Lamoureaux's medical office. Roberts returned the sign to Lamoureaux in Horseshoe Bend before he met with the Harrises.

"I don't understand how it got in my pasture," Roberts said, adding that the sign barely fit in the back of his pickup truck.

"I am just glad to have it back in one piece. I am just amazed that it actually went through the storm and came back. I really thank Junior Roberts for returning it to us," Lamoureaux said.

Scattered throughout Roberts's property are sheets of metal, sheets of plywood with nails, insulation and much more. He even found a set of curtains hanging in a tree and a ladies blouse still on the hanger lying in the field.

Roberts said while he has checked most of his farm, there are still parts he hasn't made it to.

"I've just gone where I have cattle," he said. "There's still one field I haven't made it to yet."

Roberts said the night the tornado hit the area, he had torrential rains at his house and whipping winds, but luckily no extremely dangerous weather.

The Harrises, whose home was also severely damaged in the storm, were appreciative of Roberts returning their items.

"It was a good gesture on your part," David Harris said.

Roberts is still trying to track down owners of some photos, newspaper articles and other items he found on his property from Mountain View.

Billmore is located about 60 to 70 miles away from Highland by road. The small community lies between Thayer and Doniphan, Mo.

Areawide Media has established a link on its Web site, located at www.areawidenews.com, to allow anyone who has found items from Ash Flat, Highland, Melbourne, Zion, Sage or any other town hit by the Feb. 5 tornado to post a description of those items along with contact information in hopes of those with missing items to find them.

For more information, contact Jessica Goff, Webmaster, at 1-800-995-3209.



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