Jan Vaughn : Tornado Oral History


Jan Vaughn : Tornado Oral History


Submitted: May 2, 2005
Jan Vaughn
Cortland, Ohio
I was working at the Bristol Public Library on May 31, 1985. It was a very, very hot Friday, leading into the Memorial Day weekend. After work, my husband and I decided that it was just too hot to cook at home, so we went down the street to a small restaurant. During our meal, the electricity went out. We went back home and decided that a nap might be in order since the power was out. My mother phoned duirng the nap, yelling that my brother had almost gotten sucked up in a tornado (he was living in the northern part of the county at the time). My husband and I were dumbfounded, since we had no clue that there was any bad weather. We turned on a battery powered radio and started to hear what had happened. My husband's family lives in Niles, so he was especially concerned. We kept phoning and phoning and finally were able to establish that the were OK. We still had no power the next day, so on Saturday we went out to Bristolville to make sure the library was OK. On Sunday, we ventured into Niles through several back ways. The destruction was sobering.

On a side note: My husband's best friend had been a customer inside the convenience store across from Niles Union Cemetery on May 31. He came out of the store, looked up, and saw the tornado coming. He jumped into his truck and floored it, escaping. The lady right behind him, however, perished when the tornado demolished the building.

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