Friday, June 22, 2012
The complete breakdown on Spirit of Hope: The Year After the Joplin Tornado
We have tried to offer the first comprehensive look at the story of the Joplin Tornado, beginning with the horror of 5:41 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2011, all the way through the Day of Unity one year later.
The book comes in at more than 400 pages and includes original reporting from John Hacker and me, essays, stories from survivors and volunteers, transcripts of speeches that stirred Joplin and the nation, and official documents from the National Weather Service and the Center for Disease Control.
Following is a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what is included in the book:
Preface- Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles offers the introduction to the book.
1. Spirit of Hope- My introductory story and thoughts about how the people of Joplin have provided an example for the nation.
2. Historic Storm, History Reoovery- John Hacker relives the moment he arrived at the tornado site moments after it occurred.
3. One Year, One Community, One Direction- John's coverage of the Day of Unity
4. I'm Proud of Joplin- City Manager Mark Rohr's speech from the Day of Unity
5. God Was With Me- My story on the Joplin High School Graduation, featuring senior Sarah Kessler, who lost her home during the tornado
6. St. John's Has Been Hit That's All We Know For Sure- Rebecca Williams of Jopiln Tornado Info tells the story of how that innovate and essential web page began.
7. A Lazy Afternoon- One of the most searing memories of the days after the tornado was the viral video of people inside Fastrip when the tornado hit. One of those people, Carthage Press Sports Editor Brennan Stebbins tells the story.
8. Love Led Me Through- One of the most inspirational people I know, my former teaching colleague at East Middle School, Andrea Thomas, told her tornado story in our first book, 5:41. In this stirring story of faith, Andrea tells the story of what has happened to her and her husband Joe since May 22 and what she has seen while helping others.
9. Pancakes, Prayers, and Progress- Former reporter Rick Nichols relives the tornado as it hit the International House of Pancakes.
10. The House of Bricks- My journey to the apartment complex behind the 15th Street Wal-Mart after the tornado and my conversation with a father whose son died at Pizza Hut.
11. A Tale of Survival- Andrea Queen writes about how she and her family survived the tornado.
12. Ground Zero- Former Joplin Tri-State Business Editor Jeff Wells describes the helplessness of being in Texas while his mother and grandmother are fighting for their lives in Joplin.
13. Will There be a Christmas Tree?- Marty Oetting's moving essay on the items left behind after the tornado.
14. We Were All Affected- Joplin Tornado Information's Rebecca Williams shares stories from her website.
15. This Town is My Home- Joplin High School junior Laela Zaidi's story was told in 5:41. This time, she writes the story of how she wanted nothing more than to remain in Joplin.
16-17- The Peace in the Midst of the Storm/Miracles at Walmart- A two-part story with two friends offering their versions of what happened at the 15th Street Walmart.
18. My Tornado Story: A Story About the Heart of America- An eighth grader at the time she wrote this, former East Middle School student Jennifer Nguyen tells a harrowing story of a birthday party that turned into a nightmare.
19. Big Builds- John Hacker's coverage of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Ten for Joplin, two building projects that brought the nation's attention to Joplin.
20. Pushed to the Breaking Point- John's story on Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer and what happened May 22 and in the days afterward.
21. Local Radio's Finest Hour- In this speech to the Missouri Broadcasters Association, Gov. Jay Nixon praises the work done by the Zimmer radio stations during and after the tornado.
22. Miracle of the Human Spirit- City Manager Mark Rohr's speech at Cunningham Park one week after the tornado
23. Sometimes, Love Is All You Have- Amy Gilbert's family lost its home in the tornado, but her survival story has a twist when the band Sugarland invites her daughters to appear with them at the Country Music Association Awards.
24. I'll Never Forget- Pittsburg State University student Amy Herron's touching essay about the tornado.
25. Coming Together- John's story about how the tornado has affected three hospitals, Mercy (St. John's), Freeman, and McCune-Brooks
26. Autistic Children Benefit from Ozark Center- John tells another story of how the local health industry was affected by the tornado.
27. Mercy Joplin Opens Component Hospital- A few months after the tornado, Mercy offers a new temporary structure for its patients in this story written by John Hacker
28. An End and a Beginning- John's portrait of the day the wrecking ball hit St. John's
29. We Will Have School- My story of the Joplin Schools family gathering at the site of the destroyed high school where Superintendent C. J. Huff promised that school would begin on time.
30. Will Norton is With Us In Spirit- This is the article that I wrote for the magazine at Chapman University about the effect Will Norton's death had on the campus though he never had a chance to go to school there. It includes my interview with Will's father, Mark Norton.
31. I Will Keep The Spotlight on Joplin, Missouri- Rush Limbaugh's July 4 speech in Cunningham Park
32. Blessing in Disguise- John's story of the incredible job Samaritan's Purse has done in Joplin
33. We Will Not Be Kept Down- Mary Jean Miller, who was president of Joplin High School's Key Club last year tells her own tornado story and then writes about how Key Club did everything it could to help the recovery effort.
34. These Are My Students: This Is My School- My essay on the difficulty I had getting ready to teach school in a converted warehouse
35. School Begins Today in Joplin- My story on the day teachers returned to duty and found themselves greeted by a hundreds of community members
36. The Toughest Town on God's Green Earth- Gov. Jay Nixon's speech to returning Joplin Schools staff members
37. An Opportunity to Move Forward Together- Superintendent C. J. Huff's speech as staff returned to duty
38. A Day of Miracles, Joplin Schools Start on Time- I write about the first day of classes.
39. Back to the Country- In 5:41, Gary Harrall wrote the shortest story, telling about how he wanted to leave the city after the tornado. Continuing the tradition, Gary has the shortest story in this book, too, with a much happier ending.
40. Nothing Stops Us- Denton Williams, another contributor to 5:41, offers an update and a tribute to those who have helped Joplin recover.
41. Tornado-Battered Joplin Honors Victims of Terrorists Attacks- John writes about the moving ceremony held in Joplin on Sept. 11.
42. Anti-Muslim Sentiment Clouds Gift to Joplin Schools- In every success story, there are a few discordant notes and they were offered here by some people who were not happy about the gift of laptops to Joplin High School students. I take on that sentiment in this story.
43. I'm Proud to be a Rising Joplin Eagle- Joplin High School student Micaela Tennis writes about the first day of school.
44. The Six-Month Anniversary: Nov. 22, 2011, in Cunningham Park- John's coverage of the activities on that eventful day, including the texts of speeches by Mayor Mike Woolston, Billy Long, Jay Nixon, and Chris Cotton
45. Come Home to Joplin- Mark Rohr's speech at the six-month anniversary observance in Cunningham Park
46. Cunningham Park: Joplin's First Park- John writes the history of the park.
47. God Bless the People of Joplin, Missouri- In 5:41, Rose Fogarty wrote about how the story of Will Norton brought her to Joplin. Since then, she has continued her volunteer work and she offers a moving story about that volunteer work.
48. Remembering the Forgotten School- Not much attention was paid to the desruction of the old South Middle School, where I taught. I offer a tribute to it.
49. A Day in the Life of a Joplin Student- Karissa Dowell offers a different look at going to the mall high school- the feeling of a being on display in a glass house with different visitors every day.
50-51. Student to Student: Sharing Stories/College Students Forego the Beach to Help with Recovery- John writes about college students giving up their spring breaks to volunteer in Joplin.
52. A New Hope High School for Joplin- I write about the passage of the bond issue for new schools in Joplin.
53. A Seventh Grader's Gift That Keeps On Giving- My story about how a seventh grader from New York contributed to my students.
54. Avenue of Hope- John's story about Peace Lutheran Church, which had its building destroyed, beginning with outdoor services a week later and ending with outdoor services one year later
55. God Remains With Us in Joplin- Peace Lutheran Church's interim pastor Bill Pape writes about those first outdoor services.
56. Thanks Be To This Ever-Present God- A transcript of Pastor Kathy Redpath's sermon at the outdoor service at Peace Lutheran Church one year later.
57. Rejoicing, Remembering, and Rebuilding- Laela Zaidi's thoughts after the Joplin High School commencement program about how far this city has come.
58. Tornado Teaches the True Meaning of School- My story about the last day of the 2011-2012 school year in our East Middle School warehouse
59. Joplin High School Prom Photos- taken by John Hacker
The following items are featured in the back of the book:
Death Doesn't Get the Last Word: Life Wins- The text of Rev. Aaron Brown's sermon at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service
The Long Journey- The text of Gov. Jay Nixon's speech at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service
Joplin Taught the World- The text of President Barack Obama's speech at the Joplin Tornado Memorial Service
The World Will Never Forget What You Achieved- Gov. Jay Nixon's speech at the Joplin High School Graduation
Because You Are From Joplin- President Barack Obama's speech at the Joplin High School Graduation
Center for Disease Control Report on Fungal Infections from Joplin Tornado
National Weather Service Central Region Assessment- The Joplin Tornado