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Tornado mementos

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Photo by Jody Shackelford
Photo by Jody Shackelford

The morning after the area was ravaged by tornados and torrential storms, Mike Spurlock found paper fragments including homework, utility bills, receipts, and even a piece of a tax return while on his way to feed cattle. To compound the odd find, identifiable scraps were from places over 100 miles away from the Heart farm including a utility bill from Little Rock.

The storms that cut through Arkansas Feb.. 5, left a path of destruction from Atkins through Clinton to as close as Highland and Gassville. There have been reports from several different areas of debris from miles away, in the case of Mike Spurlock over 140 miles away.

"I?take care of my mother-in-law's cattle, (Gay Williams in the Heart community) helping her out with the family farm. The morning after all the tornados I fed the cows and went to check on a calf when I got to noticing paper scattered in the field," he said.

"The first thing I picked up was a check, and I couldn't believe it. I started looking around at all the other papers and found it was all kinds of different stuff. I have a utility bill from Little Rock, a Wal-Mart receipt from Clinton, tax return, canceled check, auto body shop invoice from Mountain View, and then there is something from Cherokee Village," he said.

Spurlock also found pieces of a child's homework and Christmas cards among other fragments of paper items. Another unusual aspect of the findings were legible dates found on many of the pieces, ranging from 1995 to 2004.

Speculation was the only thing Spurlock could offer as to the origins of the paper.

"You know people have had this stuff in storage all this time or filed away. These people probably don't have a house left to even be contacted," he said.

"The one that really got me was the Little Rock, it's for Audie Fleture, Little Rock Residential Utility Bill. That had to be from the tornado that hit in Atkins or somewhere down in there I'm sure. It's odd that nothing has a recent date on it," Spurlock said.

The trip from where the paper fragments came from all the way to Gay Williams' cow pasture is a mystery, but one doesn't have to stretch the imagination far to believe it had something to do with the violent meteorological disasters that recently scared the state.

"I don't know what to tell you, I am just amazed at all the different places the paper was from, just amazed," Spurlock said.

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