Tornado of 1967 Remembered
Bus Drivers Johnny Wells, Harold Myers,
Terry Nethery, Stanley Cupps, Tony Wingo, Arlon Nix and Charles Gilbert.
Harold Myers remembers that stormy day in 1967.
| The recent outbreak of severe weather brought
to mind a memory of long ago. I thought I would share it with you.
As the bell rang for school to be out, the afternoon of March 6, 1967 was
much like all others. The sun was shining brightly as the buses loaded for
the trip home. In those days, the School Board employed students as bus
drivers, and I was the driver of bus number 45. Little did I know at the
time, this day would turn out like no other I had ever known.
After departing Dora High, I swung through Washington City to drop off those
that lived there. Then, it was on to Sumiton for my other two loads. My
first load carried me down the Hull Road and on through the community of
Dilworth. Seat belts and today's standards had not come into play, and it
was not uncommon for students to stand at the front of the bus and talk
to the driver. Since he was one of the last to get off, Dennis Wright often
stood on the steps and opened the door for me as we chatted. This day was
no different, and as we approached his house, I remember telling him goodbye.
Then it was back to Sumiton for my second load to Argo.
|The sun was still shining as the Argo load boarded the bus,
but, this would soon change. As I pulled out onto highway 78, I could see
a dark cloud ahead. Not knowing what was coming, I proceeded down Rocky
Holler Hill. Then, all at once, everything turned dark gray and we were
in what would be determined as an F-4 tornado. I remember thinking "What's
happening?". Unaware of the happenings, I knew we were in some sort
of danger and pulled the bus alongside the embankment beside the highway.
By this time, the bus was rocking back & forth. From the drivers seat,
I watched as a house was blown off it's foundation and slammed into the
house across the road. The air was full of debris, and it seemed it would
never end. But, thankfully it did.
|There were two other buses very near where the tornado came through. Bus
number 67 driven by Johnnie Wells and another bus from T.S Boyd. When we
could see clearly, I noticed the power lines down on the pavement. I kept
the bus parked until I could determine there was no danger of high voltage.
We then proceeded.
As I delivered the students to their homes, the images of what I had just
seen kept flashing through my mind. I felt very calm until the last stop
had been made and I parked the bus at my own house. It was then it hit me.
As a trembling hand opened the bus door, my knees buckled and I fell to
the ground. At this instant, I realized just how close we had come. I think
we can safely assume that God was watching over us that day.
The next day I learned that Dennis Wright had lost his life in the tornado.
The afternoon before, when I said goodbye to him, I didn't know if would
Harold Myers, Class of 67
Thanks to ABC 33/40's James Spann
and J.B. Elliott of the Weather Service for providing information on the
March 6, 1967 F-4 tornado.