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These are sad times

June 12, 2008 - Dan Voigt
Wednesday seemed like it was going to be an average, nothing-out-of-the ordinary day. Hit the office around 7 a.m. and start working on the upcoming paper. Research for a story, come back to the office, and about 9:30, the day changed. Ambulance and rescue personnel were sent to a farm near Curlew, where a man had been hit by lightning. A little later in the morning, I got a call from a friend asking if I had heard about the accident. As he told me the story, my heart sank - yes, it was the lightning-strike victim, a young man who had graduated from high school a couple of years earlier. Through my work with the county fair board, I'd come to know this young man as an exceptional young man, a natural leader, a go-to kind of kid that you could depend on. If he walked into a room filled with young 4-H kids, they instantly gravitated to him - and he'd respond with a brilliant smile and become every kids' friend. Now, his family, let alone all who knew him, grieve at his tragic loss. The same is true for the four boys scouts who were lost Wednesday night when the tornado struck the Little Sioux Boy Scout Ranch near Blencoe. We think of Boy Scouts as the ones who are "always prepared". It is reported that these scouts were all at the camp for a senior leadership session geared towards the older, more experienced scouts. But, even with knowledge on what to do and advanced warning, there was little that could be done against the fury and raw power of nature. I watched footage on CNN Wednesday night of a three story home slowly collapsing into a river raging out of its banks due to flood waters near Waterloo. Again, the power of Nature is something to be respected, not ignored. In our rural area, we are closer to nature than our counterparts in urban settings like Cedar Falls or Des Moines.We will feel its effects just as quickly, and as personally, as those who live in an urban area. But, it's just a little more personal when it happens here at home. The old commercial said "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature" and that is so very true.


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