Lynn’s Small Recollections & Reflections #5

The Tornado

On the early morning of June 9, 1966, a tornado lifted up the roof of a home one block over and dropped it down on our house.

Tornado 1966 Hoffman Estates, IL Simonson Residence
Neighbors house with no roof after the tornado took it and relocated to our house

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The Newspaper Article

I’m sure that the article misquoted my Dad. It says that he got me and my brother out of bed, put us in the living room, and then went back to wake up my Mom and sister.

Firstly, he would have never left my Mom and sister sleeping.

I clearly recall him picking my brother and me up from our twin beds (we shared a room) and he had me under one arm and my brother in the other.

As he ran us down the hall, my Mom and sister were in front of us and we went directly down the stairs into the garage and sat in the car.

What I Heard & Saw

The thing that I remember when waking up was that my dad was carrying us and I could hear wood splitting and glass breaking.

The corner of our house where parts of the roof came through my parent’s bedroom

My brother’s head connected with the corner of a wall in the hall and I believe he started crying.

We had a dog for a quick second. The dog’s name was Skippy but I’m not sure if it was a boy or girl. It was during this time that he or she lived with us.

I recall that when we were running down the stairs (at this point we all were running on our own) the dog was running up and my sister scooped the dog up and took it with us.

A police officer in our backyard surveying the damage

My Mom

My mom was very pregnant at the time with my youngest brother. Had my Dad not gotten up and looked out the bedroom window and gotten my mom out of bed, things could have been much different.

Tornado 1966 Hoffman Estates, IL Simonson Residence
Inside my parent’s bedroom. What you can’t see is all the glass that was everywhere including through the bed

The Aftermath

We sat in the car for some time before our garage door opened. It was a neighbor coming in to make sure we ok.

My Dad had at some point gone back into the house to grab pants. He was in his underwear in the car and God Forbid that he be seen in that state of undress.

Other than the excitement of what was going on in the neighborhood. It was the last day of school and we didn’t have to go! For me, that was the biggest excitement.

I recall staying at a neighbor’s house. I believe we stayed there for a few nights while the house got cleaned up and boarded up.

Shortly there after my Dad built a workbench of sorts in our garage. It was extremely sturdy and it was our own little fallout shelter. It’s where we went whenever there was bad weather after that.

The neighbor’s roof is up against our house and in the backyard

Finding Nails

Our job that summer was picking up nails from our backyard. Once the debris from the neighbor’s roof was hauled away, there were nails all over our yard.

I believe there was a financial incentive from my Dad if you collected nails. Several of the kids in the neighborhood gladly became involved in the search.

The Youngest Kid

After the house was completely repaired and the wallpaper was hung (upside down), my Mom went into labor. She delivered a healthy baby boy, my youngest brother.

Things I Didn’t Get for Mother’s Day 🙂

#1 – The Introduction

#2 – My Parents and their Friends in the 60s

#3 – A Lonely Kid

#4 – The Day I Ran Away TO Home

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  1. So much fun reading your stories. Hugs to you, my friend. Are you going to haven?

    1. Thank you Renae – No I’m not going to Haven this year.

  2. Oh my gosh Lynn, what a story! It’s amazing how you were all safe. I loved the part about your job picking up the nails. (that would have been what my dad had us do as well) haha thank you for sharing this interesting story.

    1. Hi Susan – I’m so glad you’re enjoying my little stories. I’m having such fun writing them.

    1. Thank you, Susan – I’m having fun writing them. It’s also a bit cathartic.