After trying several routes to our house, we finally parked near the post office on Edgewood Avenue and walked home.
We discovered that we had lost three trees located on various sides of our house. It was startling to see that each of them fell in different directions and they all fell away from our house. We were very lucky. Several homes on the opposite end of our addition were destroyed.
The first responders and the electrical power workers were quickly on the job to make sure everyone was safe and not hurt. Neighbors worked together to help remove debris from the streets and after that had been accomplished, I walked back to our car and drove home.
We were without electricity for several days. In order to protect the neighborhood from looting, a command post was set up and we all received passes that allowed us access in and out of the neighborhood.
On the second or third day after the storm, we were out shopping and eating. When we arrived at the intersection of Banta and Derbyshire roads, we had to show our paperwork to some Indiana National Guard troops.They had been activated to help in our area. As a former guardsman, I was pleased to see the soldiers protecting our neighborhood.
Later that day, I heard someone yelling my name from our front yard. I walked to the door and smiled as I saw my long-time friend, Ed Wetzel, sitting in a golf cart.
He explained that he had been very worried and just had to drive his cart from his house in Southport to check on us. We visited for awhile and then explained to him that we had some errands to run and needed to grab a bite to eat.
Lyn and I climbed into my old blue van that was widely known as my, “Shiny Blue Truck”. We drove out the driveway and followed Ed to the checking station at Banta and Derbyshire where the guardsmen were directing the evening traffic.
It seemed like it was taking Ed a very long time to get checked out. I sort of leaned out my driver’s side window and thought I heard some of the troops and Ed saying something about a looter while pointing at my truck. Quickly Ed was waved on as was the car that was directly ahead of us.
It then was our turn, and I had the proper paperwork in my hand. I was thinking that this was the very first time we had driven “The Shiny Blue Truck” through the checkpoint. I figured we were going to get checked out pretty good after I saw Ed pointing toward us talking to the guardsmen.
As we pulled up, a laughing guardsman asked us if we knew that crazy guy on the golf cart. I assured him that I knew him very well. He checked our paperwork and shook his head as he waved us onto Banta Road.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at email@example.com.