Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Most Unexpected Road Trip

So yesterday Cara posted on her Facebook page about her intention to attend the Heartland Peace Rally in Joplin as a counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church's plans to demonstrate at the Memorial Service for the Joplin Tornado victims.

She asked if anyone else was going and indicated that her car had room for 3 more people.

In an uncharacteristic display of complete spontaneity, I decided to ride along. So a young, female, Jewish, conservative and an old, atheist, socialist curmudgeon set out on a road trip!

We got there early and had time to view some of the devastation left by the tornado. It was staggering. I've lived in the midwest all my life and I've never seen anything like this.

You here people compare the destruction to a war zone. I've never been in a war but I'm fairly certain that nothing short of a nuclear weapon could cause this amount of damage.

The turn out in support of the folks in Joplin was quite large, loud and enthusiastic.

We got to see President O'Bama arrive on Air Force One.

It wasn't the usual 747, but a lesser Air Force One that landed in Joplin.

We never did see any members of the Westboro Baptist Church, although various rumors had them blocked in at the Flying J truck stop by truckers, getting beat up by some truckers, getting tear gassed by the police and being hauled off to jail. None of which were true. But having never encountered them we can't claim to have been much of a counter-protest.

We didn't help any residents clean up or rebuild. We didn't actually accomplish anything.

But sometimes you just have to see a thing for yourself and lend your support in whatever way you can.


Tim (Drunk-Monkey) Marks said...

I find it hilarious that WBC didn't not show up as expected. I don't specifically wish violence on anyone in the WBC, but I don't think they would get any sympathy cards if they all got ass cancer

emawkc said...

"a young, female, Jewish, conservative and an old, atheist, socialist curmudgeon set out on a road trip!…

… We didn't actually accomplish anything."

Worst. Punchline. Ever.

Cara said...

I sort of quibble with the thought that we didn't accomplish anything. The WBC didn't show and I'd like to think those of us who counter-protested were a part of that. And, after seeing the destruction I went home and doubled my donation to the relief efforts, and will go down again to help those affected. I will also make sure to stock my basement with the proper supplies in case a tornado comes through my part of the world.

And we bonded over gas station food and mullet-spotting. So there's that.

Anonymous said...


I am so glad to see you say that you are going to better prepare yourself for a weather emergency.

One never knows when a tornado, high winds, blizzard, or severe ice storm could change your life as you know it.

But those who are prepared are the ones who make it through those events the best.

Xavier Onassis said...

Cara - I guess I was just overwhelmed by the extent of the devastation. Even if we had showed up and busted our asses cleaning debris all day long it still wouldn't have felt like we accomplished anything.

Anonymous said...

So you decided to do some rubber necking of the disaster.

What a fucking asshole.

Raytown Mold Expert.

sue said...

XO - My No.1 choice is the grafitti art: 6

Runner up: 9(it reminds me of the
movie Inception)