by< a href =" http://www.flickr.com/photos/11279883@N00/14850488788" > Tom Simpson All God’s guarantees bring some conditions and we are required to
believe the Lord. As soon as you satisfy the condition connected to any guarantee, then it is yours to claim. God guarantees that He will honour your faith as Jesus states in Luke 17:6,” If you have faith as little as a mustard seed, you can state to this mulberry tree,” Be uprooted and planted in the sea, ” and it will obey you. “God promisesblessings to those who provide liberally, as Jesus says in Luke 6:38, “Provide and it will be given
to you. An excellent step, pushed down, shaken together and running over, will be put into your lap. For with the procedure youutilize, it will be measured to you.” Nobody can out provide God and as you offer, He will amaze you hundredfold. The condition connected to this is” give “and it will be offered to you. Your prosperity remains in your hands if you satisfy this condition. The Almighty God also guarantees to be withthosewho are obedient.Jesus says in John 14:23,” If anyone
enjoys me, he will obey my mentor. My Father will enjoy him, and we will concern him and make our home with him. “Obedience is an essential active ingredient in our spiritual walkwith God. He promises that if you want and loyal, you will consume the best of the land. It is much better to follow HIM fully as partial disobedience is equivalent to complete disobedience. One of the greatest promises of God is to come to the aid of those who seek Him. His Word states in 2 Chronicles 7:14,” If my people, who are called by my name, will modest themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked methods, then I will speak with heaven andwill forgive their sin and will recover their land.” Wow! There are a couple of conditions to fulfil here prior to we can claim this pledge. Firstly, God requires our humbleness, then our prayers. After, He wants us to seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. After satisfying all these conditions
, then we can lay hold of His guarantee. There is likewise a guarantee of immortality in 1 John 2:24 -25,” See that exactly what you have spoken with the beginning remains in you. If it does, you will likewise remain inthe Son and in the Father. And this is exactly what He has assured us– even immortality.” God is concerned that
we will not be led astray from His Word. He wants us to be partakers of His pledge of eternal life. God has likewise guaranteed that those who love Him will inherit the Kingdom. Also,” blessed is the man who stands firm under trial, because when he stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has assured to those who love Him. “James 1:12. You require to persevere so that when you have actually done the will of God, you will receive what He has guaranteed.
We can see from a few of God’s promises listed above that we have to play our own part in order to get them. God will do His own part of the bargain, but He will refrain from doing our own part for us. As there are conditions in all of God’s pledges, we must attempt to stay in our own corner and not try to do God’s part for Him. He has the ability to cope by Himself and does not require our aid. PEACE! PRAYER OF REDEMPTION If you have actually not already dedicated your life to Jesus and you would like to do so now, please hope this prayer:” Lord Jesus, I am sorry for all the things I have done incorrect. Thank you for cravingme on the cross, to set me devoid of my sins. I ask you to come into my life as my individual Lord and Saviour, and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen.” Congratulations, if you have hoped this prayer. Please search for a Bible-believing church, to fellowship with the brethren. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if I can
be of any assistance to you. Stay blessed and enjoy the presence of the Lord. Ronke is a female of faith and has compassion for souls. She strongly believes that, with God, all things are possible. Through her ministry, Touching Hearts ministries (UK ), God is using her to minister to the sick and the brokenhearted. She has actually written some articles, which are motivating and a source
of blessing. For additional information, please visit her site on www.touchingheartsministries.co.uk
by< a href =" http://www.flickr.com/photos/78316603@N00/5068392962" > ChrisM70 The Almighty God made the earth by His power and founded the world by His knowledge. Due to the fact that you belong to God, He has put His power within you. The bible tells us in Luke 9-1-2, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He offered them power and authority to eliminate all demons and to treat diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to recover the sick.” Jesus sent His twelve apostles out,
with power, to inform everyone about the coming of the kingdom of God and to recover the sick. The apostles had no power of their own, to carry out all the directions from the Lord. So Jesus endued them with His power and authority. He likewise appointed seventy-two disciples and sent them out two by 2, ahead of Him. He provided them His power and stated,” I have offered you authority to stomp
on snakes and scorpions and to get rid of all the power of the enemy; nothing will damage you.” Luke 10:19. When you have the power of God in you, you take authority over anything that wants to disturb your life and it will withdraw, in the name of Jesus. After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus instructed His disciples to stay in Jerusalem up until they had been dressed with power from on high. This power from the Almighty, was offered to them on the day of Pentecost when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They all began to speak in other tongues as the Holy Spirit enabled them. That very same Holy Spirit works in us today and offers us the exact same power as He did on the day of Pentecost. Kid of God, you have got the same power in you and
Satan has no power over you. Jesus came to ruin the power of Satan so that you can operate under the power of God. I motivate you to focus on the supreme power of God and not on Satan. We are not unaware of Satan’s devices, but Jesus has provided you power to trample over Satan; he is under your feet. Let God be your main focal point at all times, and not Satan as he is a liar and daddy of all phonies. Constantly keep in mind that Jehovah has got the ultimate power and He will come to your help at all times. God has actually got the last word in your life; glorify Him constantly and do not glorify Satan in anything. Our Heavenly Father has actually got the power to bring modification in your life and He can make anything occur for you, in accordance with His Word. When the power of God is at work in your life, you will see the
distinction. He has actually got the power to shatter old routines and uproot animosity from your life. Keep looking unto HIM and you will not be dissatisfied. Enjoy His peace constantly. PRAYER OF SALVATION If you have not already dedicated your life to Jesus and you would
do so now, please hope this prayer:” Lord Jesus, I am sorry for all the things I have done incorrect. Thank you for dying for me on the cross, to set me complimentary from my
sins. I ask you to come into my life as my personal Lord and Saviour, and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen. “Congratulations, if you have actually prayed this prayer. Please try to find a Bible-believing church, to fellowship with the brethren. Please
do not be reluctant to contact me, if I can be of any help to you. Remain blessed and take pleasure in the existence of the Lord. Ronke is a woman of faith and has empathy for souls. She highly thinks that, with God, all things are possible. Through her ministry, Touching Hearts ministries(
God is using her to minister to the sick and the brokenhearted. She has actually composed some posts, which are motivating and a source of blessing. For more info, please visit her site on www.touchingheartsministries.co.uk
< img alt =" han solo" src =" http://blog.filmfangear.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/8618956470_35ce88faf3_m.jpg" width =" 160"/ > by< a href =" http://www.flickr.com/photos/12197663@N02/8618956470" > V Threepio In previous articles in this series
, I have actually gone over recognizing your target market, producing a web existence, developing a complimentary report in written and audio formats as a method of structure reliability, developing an e-mail newsletter or e-zine as a perfect “keep-in-touch “strategy, developing an E-Book, hosting teleseminars and telesummits and creating a back-end product to increase your earnings. In this short article I will talk about how you can craft
your location of competence( your niche) into a signature talk and become a speaker. Your Signature Talk Craft a talk that you will give up every venue you speak in. Don’t make the error of using
to tailor a speech to an audience. You are the specialist in your niche and this is the message you desire to deliver. Your message, of course, must tie into the information products that you will also be promoting during your talk.
Here’s a simple format for a signature talk: An introduction that develops your credibility and your status
as an expert. Approximately 5 primary talking points; consist of anecdotes. Let them understand how you help fix the problems and challenges you raise in the talking points( a gentle segue
into your information item which should be your conclude with an offer to fulfill individuals in the back of the space- where your product table is). Talking to Increase Presence and Reliability and as a Method to Market Your Information Products One way to
increase presence and credibility is to become a visitor speaker on teleseminars that associates in complementary disciplines offer. Besides providing excellent material through your signature talk, you can likewise strategically promote your information product. You might decide to only promote your totally free report to obtain individuals on your list. Or you might use a back-end item for which the host of the teleseminar will get a commission on sales. You can also become a regional speaker to start, speaking with groups that are consisted of your target audience.
Be selective about whom you approach to offer your speaking services or what offers to speak you accept. For instance, if you are a parenting professional, you might desire to speak at PTA conferences, moms ‘groups and parent assistance groups. Keep in mind, the entire point of speaking is to build your presence and reliability and to have a
venue where to market your information items. Though it might be an honor to be invited to speak at a regional service organization, you might need to consider whether speaking at this organization would even more these goals. You can likewise become a nationwide speaker who promotes complimentary or charges a fee
. To get yourself out there, you can get listed on a number of speaker sites. One is called Speaker Website and is a social network of public speakers and occasion planners. Listing on this site is totally free. There are other fee-based websites such as Speaker Services and Speaker Match. If you decide to charge a cost, fees will be based upon your experience and
status. Do a little research online for the ranges however you can expect that you can start from listed below a hundred up to ten thousand dollars for more experienced speakers; keynote speakers will make more. Being a professional speaker is a profession. As a details marketer, you may choose to speak for
totally free and make an agreement with the occasion organizer to be able to offer your info items in the back of the space. If you only have digital items, you can always print out your E-Books and put them in clear presentation folders. You can easily burn your MP3 audio files onto CD’s and put then into plastic cases. You can go to a copy store and have them print and assemble your bigger digital back-end items or systems in a binder with plastic sleeves consisted of for CD’s or DVD’s. Make certain to make up order kinds to use in case you lack the products you have brought and take pre-paid orders at the back table. Kate Sanner is the CEO and founder of Vivacity. As” Dive Instructor “, Kate assists a woman on the brink of doing excellent things to take the leap into
the life she has been imagining … whether it’s beginning a business, writing a book or fulfilling a life long aspiration. When a woman has made the dive, Kate then offers tools and resources so that a woman can continue to take herself to new levels and to take full advantage of and monetize all her efforts for constant growth, monetary gain and success. She is also a podcaster, Ezine publisher and internet radio show host. To get a FREE copy of Vivacity’s” The Believe and Play BIG System”, a 10 Step, 46-page guide, -a value- that shows you the best ways to bring your vision for your enterprise into reality and onto brand-new levels, go to http://vivacitynow.com and complete your first name and main email address in package in the upper right-hand man corner, then click Yes, Send My System Now.
< img alt =" han solo" src =" https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5519/9351800387_b678ef278e_m.jpg" width =" 160"/ > by< a href =" http://www.flickr.com/photos/21385420@N00/9351800387" > zuko1312 By this point in the series,
I hope you recognize the importance of developing a Details Marketing organisation as an addition to your practice or as a way to create income ought to you decide to cut down on your direct service hours. Up to this point, we have actually covered: recognizing
your target audience for your information products, the significance of having a Web presence and composing your first information product -your Free or Unique Report. As I stated in the last installation, you might have a definite preference in regards to writing or speaking, so I am going to provide a 2nd alternative for delivering your free report content -in audio format as a teleclass. However, keep in mind, it is necessary to use your customers the choices of audio and written formats as they do have strong preferences of how they choose to consume their material. A teleclass is just exactly what it sounds like … a class you use over the telephone. You will have to have a totally free telephone
bridge( conference) line to tape this. To discover one, type in” complimentary telephone conference lines” and you will discover a lot of these type of lines readily available. I frequently use Complimentary Conference Pro and No-Cost Conference, but as I stated, there are numerous great ones( that are totally free )to pick from. There are, of course, also paid conference line companies as well. As soon as you enter into some severe info marketing and are recording teleseminars you will charge for,
then you will probably wish to get a paid conference line service as they do have live help readily available to assist you if something fails. There is often a considerable difference in the quality of the recording with the paid services. In this classification, I have used Black & White Communications. Ask a minimum of one buddy to join you on this call (most conference lines need more than one participant to open the conference). This will also provide you the included reward of & ethical support.
When you sign up with the bridge( or conference) line company, they will give you your call-in conference number and a participant pass code; there is usually always a mediator code provided too which, naturally, you will be using as the moderator. Your pal can use simply the Participant code. The bridge line business will also provide you a series of codes for recording, muting and unmuting, and so on. Make certain to silence your pal when you are all set to start … these lines choose up a lot of background sound.
Make certain that your environment is quiet too as the sounds in your environment will be detected the recording. Do not forget to use the code for recording (you will likewise need to enter it when you want to stop tape-recording ). You do not wish to get to the end of speaking and realize you were never ever taping in the first location!( No matter how many times I have done this, I constantly keep the sheet with all the codes for the teleconference right in front of me as I get all set to record- it’s an excellent tip ). As soon as you are finished recording, the bridge line company will offer you with a link to the recording of the call. The majority of the time, you get those immediately after signing off of the call. Turn this recording over to your web designer to upload for you.
The connect to this recording will enter into the e-mail that will be sent to your possibility once they have registered for your complimentary report and you have recorded their name and e-mail address. A crucial note … DO NOT just read your written report into a phone … it will stumble upon simply in this manner. The very best method to do this call is to draw up your opening and closing and usage bullet point for everything in-between. Aim to have just 3 to 5 bottom lines.
Sound natural and unless you are speaking of something really serious, aim to put a smile into your voice. You need to emote and forecast more than you believe. Don’t fret, everybody sounds timid on their very first shot. You’ll improve as time goes on. When again, here is the formula for developing material, but this time it will be spoken. State the issue or the source of discomfort for your targeted reader Add some real-life examples of this issue or discomfort -make it more genuine in their minds.. Describe why this is taking place or what the
causes are or what is the theory behind this issue. Describe why what your readers have been doing to date hasn’t been working. Supply your option without
going into the” How”. Then provide them the next action. You can make this teleclass an hour or less. If you go longer, remember that you can only fit 80 minutes of audio on a CD, so if you must you decide to make tough copies of the teleclass, aim for an hour and fifteen minutes maximum.( I’ll enter into that in more information when we get to the installment on Teleseminars)
From your years of research study, training
and experience as a helping and recovering professional, you possess a terrific offer of valuable understanding and proficiency. Besides putting in the in person client time, it would be beneficial to have an earnings that is generated from this knowledge. Kate Sanner is the CEO and creator of Vivacity. She has actually been
a psychotherapist with kids and women for nearly 20 years. Now as a coach and specialist, Kate assists solo-professionals develop their details marketing services. She is also a podcaster and web radio show host, in addition to an Ezine publisher. To get a FREE copy of Vivacity’s” The Think and Play BIG System”, a 10 Step, 46-page guide- a value- that reveals you ways to bring your vision for your business into truth and onto new levels, go to http://vivacitynow.com and complete your given name and primary e-mail address in package in the upper ideal hand corner, then click Yes, Send My System Now.
Some cool doctor strange images:
The 2004 Utica Tornado Story – Part 3 of 3
Image by guano
(photo: Rustie views new construction for a memorial at the site of the Milestone Tap)
Utica Tornado of April 20, 2004
Story by Julia Keller
First printed December 5, 6, and7 in the Chicago Tribune.
After the storm’s fury
Left in tatters by a tornado, a small town remembers, rebuilds and begins to recover
By Julia Keller
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 7, 2004
They picked at the pile, inch by inch, stone by stone, just in case. They thought they’d gotten to everyone who was alive, but you had to be sure. You had to. Buckets of debris were passed from hand to hand along chains of firefighters. It began to rain, but nobody noticed.
Earlier that evening–at 6:09 p.m. April 20–a tornado had barreled through the town of Utica in north-central Illinois and, with a tornado’s savage whim, had shunned a building here but shredded one over there. Hitting and missing and hitting.
Milestone. That was where the firefighters now were gathered, hundreds of firefighters from 52 units throughout the state. The 117-year-old tavern near the corner of Church and Mill Streets had taken a direct hit and collapsed into a ponderous heap of wood, stone and concrete, trapping 17 people who had sought shelter within its thick walls.
Nine had been rescued earlier that night: Jim Ventrice, Rich Little, Jarad Stillwell, and Mike and Debbie Miller and their children Ashley, Jennifer, Gregg and Chris.
The eight others still down there, firefighters believed, were dead. But they had to be sure.
So they kept working, systematically removing buckets full of rubble, pushing back thoughts of anything except the task at hand: dig, fill the bucket, pass the bucket, dig.
The whole place was lighted like a movie set. The lights cast an eerie glow on the firefighters in their heavy gear and their hardhats, their steel-toed boots and leather gloves. The lights splashed up on their solemn faces, which looked steep and angular in the artificial glare. All of that illumination made it seem as if a strange new sun had been unearthed, a mixed-up one that didn’t know night from day.
At about 1:30 a.m., when the listening devices that were dropped down into crevices continued to fetch only silence, they knew the rescue part of their job was over. Now it was a different mission: recovering the bodies.
Buck Bierbom’s skid loader was waved forward to handle the larger chunks of debris, but they had to be careful, so careful. When firefighters edged close to a body, the heavy equipment backed off and the painstaking labor by hand recommenced, the tender, awful job of verifying what they already knew.
Bierbom was a local boy, Utica-born and Utica-raised, a slender, wiry man with a creased, weathered, beard-fringed face and the kindest eyes you’d ever hope to see. He and his brothers, Mark and Doug, had run their own construction company for 12 years. Utica Police Chief Joseph Bernardoni had called him at 6:30 p.m., 21 minutes after the tornado leveled Milestone, and asked him to get there with his skid loader and mini-excavator just as quick as he could.
So tonight Bierbom was unearthing the bodies of people he’d known all his life. People he’d grown up with. People he’d waved to on the street maybe twice, maybe three times a day for a whole bunch of years.
Shortly before dawn, when all the bodies had been located, a chain saw cut away sections of Milestone’s floor. Bierbom’s big machine removed the sections. Then Jody Bernard, the somber, petite LaSalle County coroner, or one of her three deputy coroners, would climb down, examine the body and pronounce the death.
Each body was placed in a blue bag, then the blue bag was lifted out of the hole.
At 6:59 a.m., they lifted out Jay Vezain.
At 7:04 a.m., Carol Schultheis.
At 11:12 a.m., Mike Miller Jr.
At 11:15 a.m., Larry Ventrice.
At 11:17 a.m., Beverly Wood.
At 11:22 a.m., Marian Ventrice.
At 11:25 a.m., Wayne Ball.
At 11:28 a.m., Helen Studebaker Mahnke.
All but Vezain and Schultheis died of traumatic asphyxiation, which means they were crushed to death, probably in the first instant of the collapse, when the walls and floors began to pancake down into the basement. Vezain and Schultheis, who never made it into the basement, died of blunt force trauma.
But those official-sounding causes of death, announced by Bernard at the coroner’s inquest May 27 at the LaSalle County Courthouse, hardly hint at what actually happens to human bodies when crushed by a two-story building: the brutality, the blunt and unimaginable violence of hundreds of tons of stone and wood and concrete collapsing upon fragile frames and soft flesh. There were shattered bones and severed arteries and fractured skulls and lacerated organs and one transection of the brain stem–decapitation.
The ones who survived did so because they chanced to be standing in just the right places. The walk-in cooler and the two freezers blocked a portion of the plummeting debris, creating instant, lifesaving lean-tos.
There had been, survivors said, simply no time. No time for final thoughts or last-minute regrets, for so much as a cry of pain or yelp of warning. There was only time, if one is inclined to think that way, for the freeing of eight souls to continue their journeys elsewhere.
– – – – –
They lived or they died. Among the living, the most serious injuries were the broken ankles suffered by Mike Miller and daughter Ashley, but no one was paralyzed or maimed, which meant there was no middle ground for the people in Milestone. It was life or death.
Whether you ended up on one side of that line or the other depended on whether you went down those basement stairs and what you did when you got there.
Whether you turned left or right. Whether you paused or didn’t pause. Whether, when everybody was hustling down the stairs, you waited to let an older person pass or a kid go ahead of you, or whether you didn’t wait, or whether you moved to the center of the basement or stayed against the sides. Left, right, forward, backward, life, death.
Schultheis’ body was found beneath the video poker machine. Vezain had used his cell phone to call his sisters, making sure they were safe in the storm, and in the last call–suddenly cut off–he talked about trying to close the door, so maybe that’s what he was doing, which would have been characteristic of the amiable, thoughtful Vezain, and then there was no more time, time itself was extinguished, and eight histories ended abruptly in a sandstone tavern at dusk.
The funerals began two days later, when Vezain was remembered at a service in LaSalle, and continued for a week after the tornado, in locations that widened out from Utica in concentric rings: Wood, Ball and Schultheis, also in LaSalle; Mahnke in West Brooklyn; Miller in Rock Falls; the Ventrices in Chicago.
They started on a hill about a half-mile northeast of Utica, where the tornado had worn itself out, and worked their way back, back to where it began, some 15 1/2 miles southwest of that hill.
It was approximately 10 a.m. on April 21, and Albert Pietrycha, Mark Ratzer and Jim Allsopp, meteorologists assigned to the National Weather Service’s Chicago forecast office in Romeoville, were doing what they always do after a major storm: surveying the damage, beginning at the end and ending at the beginning. They’d map it on the ground first and then, the next day, by air.
Armed with laptops and GPS tracking software, the men in the Ford Explorer crossed country roads and state highways, cut through farm fields and spongy riverbank, using thrashed trees and flattened vegetation and ripped-off roofs to track the tornado’s path. Out in the open ground they found its vivid footprint in the black mud, a herringbone pattern that testified to the violent, switchback winds.
Recording the damage in its wake is how meteorologists rank a tornado’s severity. The F scale, named for University of Chicago meteorologist Ted Fujita, is based on the havoc wrought by tornadic winds–not on an actual measurement of those winds. The Utica tornado was deemed an F3, meaning that, based on the destruction the meteorologists observed, it probably had packed winds of between 158 and 206 m.p.h.
Despite all that is known, however, despite all the charts and statistics and technology, tornado forecasting still has a long way to go. Since the 1950s, which saw the first major advance in atmospheric science, little has changed. Tornado forecasting still is filled with ambiguity and uncertainty, with the locked-up secrets of nature’s worst tantrums.
It’s a mystery why some thunderstorms turn into the supercell variety, whose organized rotating updrafts explode into tornadoes. The questions keep scientists such as Pietrycha, who’s worked at the weather service for two years, relentlessly searching a tornado’s dark heart.
And there is a point, Pietrycha knows, where the scientific facts abruptly stop, a stark cliff-edge where something else takes over, some inscrutable plan or perhaps just cruel caprice. Destiny–or dumb luck. Who can say which?
That was why, as Pietrycha and his colleagues followed the tornado’s crooked trail that morning, they were all struck by a thought they couldn’t seem to get out of their heads:
If the 200-yard-wide funnel had moved just a bit to either side during its furious charge, leaning a half-mile left or right, it would have missed Utica altogether. It would have churned up only farmland, and Milestone still would be standing.
And the regulars, people such as Jay Vezain and Carol Schultheis, would have had quite a story to tell, the story about the tornado that nearly hit Utica. Talk about your close calls.
Why the tornado dived straight at Milestone, why it demolished some houses and ignored others, why it turned when it did and didn’t turn when it didn’t–those were questions the meteorologists couldn’t answer.
And neither, come to think of it, could anybody else.
– – – – –
Mike Miller and his family had been trapped in the Milestone rubble for almost five hours. They were rescued, but sometimes you can be rescued and still be trapped.
Two months after the tornado, Miller sat on the postage-stamp of a front porch of his house in Utica and smoked Marlboros, one after another, through the long summer afternoons. He looked out at the green field across the street. Beyond the field and the tangled mass of trees was the Illinois River. Even if you couldn’t see the river you knew it was there; the river’s scent rode the breeze, just the faintest tang of moisture and sweet coolness and the tantalizing hint of elsewhere.
His ankle was on the mend. He’d spent a week in the hospital and two weeks in a rehabilitation center. Now he was home, in the small blue rented house on Washington Street.
Miller’s skinny legs were propped up on the porch rail. The cast and bulky protective boot on his left foot was the only suggestion of heaviness about him. He was as thin as a matchstick, which tended to make his thick nest of hair–not quite gray but getting there–look even wilder. He had a bountiful mustache and flyaway eyebrows and round spectacles. There was a quietness about Mike Miller, a kind of baffled resignation.
The Miller family had to find someplace else to live. The landlord had evicted them in May–too many complaints about the kids from neighbors, they were told. Granted, Mike and Debbie hadn’t been around the house a lot to keep an eye on things; he was an engineer with Illinois Central Railroad, she was a cook at Milestone.
Now both were home all the time, because Mike was on disability leave and there was no more Milestone. But it was too late. Now the Millers wanted to be rid of Utica just as much as Utica seemed to want to be rid of them.
They hoped to find a place in nearby LaSalle, so they could stay in the same area as their three oldest children, Kassi, 24, Brandon, 23, and Michelle, 19, who hadn’t been with them in Milestone.
Their next-oldest child, 18-year-old Mike Jr., had died when the tavern collapsed.
It was bewildering sometimes, Mike thought, all that had happened to his family that night. "The Good Lord put us through four-and-a-half hours of hell," was how he phrased it, thinking back on the long rescue and the pain.
And there were times when he wondered, as he sat on the porch with his crutches stacked beside him, if they’d ever really gotten out of that place, ever really broken the surface. There were times when he felt as if things were piled on top of him still, things that made it tough to move forward.
Tear it down. That’s what they told him.
And Lisle Elsbury said, Nope.
But you could see their point. Duffy’s Tavern had long ragged holes on both sides of its second floor, the bricks ripped out as savagely as if someone had been digging for treasure hidden behind them. When the tornado hit, it tore off sections of the grain bins of Utica Elevator just across the canal, turning them into missiles. Two of those sections sliced into Duffy’s.
A week after the storm, Elsbury was standing in the middle of Mill Street, peering intently at the building in which he’d stuffed his hopes and his cash. Contractors hired to help him repair it were snapping together the scaffolding to reach the second floor. Elsbury wore sunglasses, a hardhat, black jeans and a bright green T-shirt with "Duffy’s Tavern" in yellow letters.
Built in 1892, easily Utica’s most distinctive-looking structure, Duffy’s sported a tower that flared out over the corner of Mill and Canal Streets with a Disneyesque flourish. That was why Elsbury and his wife, Pat, had bought it the year before. They loved the look of the place.
What it looked like now was a lost cause.
Elsbury had worked in construction in Lyons before buying Duffy’s, so he knew the repairs would cost at least 0,000, only part of which would be reimbursed by insurance; already, he was deep in arguments with the agent.
And there was something else.
When you looked at Duffy’s, you couldn’t help but think about Milestone. They had been a block away from each other. Elsbury and Larry Ventrice, Milestone’s brusque manager, had rhyming lives: Both had done other things before deciding, in their middle years, to run a bar in Utica. Both had wives who kept their jobs and lived in other cities so the family could have health insurance.
Marian Ventrice had quit her job just two months before, to join her husband at Milestone.
Pat Elsbury, who worked as a secretary for an oil-recycling company in La Grange, had been contemplating the same kind of bold stroke: Just do it. Forget what everybody says is the smart move. Follow your heart. Lisle was remodeling the second floor, turning it into an apartment–just like Larry and Marian had done at Milestone–and they’d be living and working together. Just like Milestone.
And then came April 20, when Milestone collapsed and killed the Ventrices and six others. Pat and Lisle Elsbury were haunted by the crazy capriciousness of it all: Two bars. Two couples. One tornado. Two fates.
Why did Milestone fall and Duffy’s stand? Pat Elsbury tried to stop thinking about it, but she couldn’t. When she drove to Utica, she kept running into the questions as if they were police roadblocks: Why Milestone and not Duffy’s? Why had the tornado veered left just before it hit Duffy’s, dealing it only a glancing blow, but pounced on Milestone as if on a mission?
Why was Lisle Elsbury alive and Larry Ventrice dead?
Pat, a pretty, talkative woman with strawberry blond hair and a quick laugh, soon realized that the only way to outfox her thoughts was to do what Lisle did: stay busy.
So while her husband kept an eye on the crew that was restoring Duffy’s, rebuilding the brick sides and shoring up the roof, Pat was there every Saturday and Sunday. When Duffy’s reopened after three weeks, Pat would wait tables and grapple with paperwork, unpack supplies and sweep floors. Anything to keep her mind away from that relentless and quietly terrifying, "Why?"
Jim Ventrice had gone to Milestone every day, for lunch or dinner or both. Now that it was gone, he had to get his meals and his companionship somewhere else.
Through the summer you’d see him at Skoog’s Pub, maybe, sipping a Miller Genuine Draft, his favorite, or over at Duffy’s, having a burger, or sometimes at Joy & Ed’s.
Ventrice and Rich Little were the first two people rescued from Milestone’s basement. While the others down there died or were forced to wait hours before being pulled out, Ventrice and Little had escaped right away. Within minutes. The building fell in all around them, but except for a few bruises and cracked ribs, both were fine.
When he’d gone down to the basement that night, Ventrice turned right at the bottom of the stairs. He stood beside Little, a stranger, over by a couple of freezers.
He didn’t know why. If Little hadn’t been there, Jim Ventrice believed, then he would’ve gone over next to his cousin Larry Ventrice or Larry’s wife, Marian, Milestone’s managers, and he would’ve absorbed the full weight of the falling slabs–the concrete roof, the second floor, the first floor–just as they had.
A week later, Jim Ventrice called Little.
"Were you in the tornado?"
"I was the guy beside you."
"Well," Little said, "that freezer saved us."
Wasn’t much more to it than that. Wasn’t much more to say. They didn’t talk philosophy or religion or predestination. The freezer had blocked the falling debris, sparing them. It was the freezer, plain and simple. Wasn’t it?
Ventrice had plenty of time that summer to sort it all out. He’d walk along Mill Street, hands in his pockets, and think. He’d just about settled things in his mind: You had to live with the fact that for a lot of questions, there aren’t any answers. Good people die. And God doesn’t have to explain himself. It’s his call.
Rich Little had moved in with Kristy Kaiser, the woman he’d been supposed to meet in Milestone. The single parents blended their families, his three kids and her three.
A month after the tornado, he bought a Harley, his longtime dream. On solitary rides he thought about that night, about how he’d been sure it would change him in some fundamental way, but it really hadn’t. He was the same guy. Wasn’t he?
– – – – –
Debbie Miller was writing down recipes. It was the best way she could think of to remember Milestone, a job she loved, the first outside job she’d held after 18 years. Fried chicken, burgers, spaghetti, hot wings–garlic was the secret ingredient in the wings–and steaks, all the recipes she and her boss, Larry Ventrice, had concocted together. They’d never put them on paper, because Debbie caught on quickly and repetition did the rest, and even Marian took to calling the back room of Milestone "Debbie’s kitchen."
Debbie had lost so much–her son, her job, her best friends, Larry and Marian–and she wanted to hang on to what she could.
While Mike Miller sat on the porch the first two months after the tornado, feet propped on the rail, Debbie often stayed inside the small house, smoking cigarettes until the rooms were hung with a yellow-gray glaze. Blond bangs hung between Debbie’s eyes and the world; straight blond hair fell down her back. The big-screen TV that dominated the living room always seemed to be on, and the Miller kids and a few of their friends and Debbie sat on couches and watched. With the curtains closed you couldn’t always tell if it was day or night, unless you already knew.
But the Millers had to find a new place to live, so on an afternoon in late June, Mike, Debbie, Gregg and Chris piled into the car–they’d gotten a teal Ford Taurus to replace the LTD damaged in the tornado–and drove to LaSalle. They had called a couple of newspaper ads for rental houses.
The first one was bright blue with a wide front porch. The moment the car stopped at the curb, Chris and Gregg tumbled out and rushed over and mashed their noses against the windows to see inside: "Cool!" "Wow!"
Mike hobbled to the picture window, cupping his palms over his eyes to peer in. "Nice big living room," he said.
But Debbie didn’t like it. She looked around, then folded her arms across her chest.
"It needs a lot of cleaning," she said.
A quick, hopeful response from 8-year-old Chris: "I can dust!"
They moved on, though, and reviewed a few more houses that day, a few more the next. On July 1, a week before they had to be out of the Washington Street house, they signed a lease for a good-sized stone house on a corner lot in LaSalle. By July 5, they’d left Utica.
Debbie still drove back there once a week or so for an informal support group of Milestone survivors and families that met evenings at Joy & Ed’s. Jim Ventrice sometimes showed up too.
They didn’t talk much about what happened that night. They talked about their lives, about their struggles, about how hard it still was to drive past the corner of Mill and Church Streets, where Milestone had stood, and where the city had put up a makeshift memorial. There were, affixed to white-painted concrete barriers, pictures of the victims and pictures of Utica from long ago.
Rising from the thin layer of gravel spread over the site was a row of white crosses, each inscribed with a name: Jay Vezain. Helen Mahnke. Bev Wood. Wayne Ball. Carol Schultheis. Marian Ventrice. Michael Miller. Lawrence Ventrice.
Shelba Bimm was leaving Utica. She wasn’t going far, just to a subdivision on a hill west of town, a pretty little neighborhood of gently curving streets and polished-looking homes with wide driveways.
Bimm had loved living right in the middle of Utica. But she and her neighbors with homes crushed by the tornado faced a tangle of complications. Utica was on a flood plain, and if you rebuilt, you were required to start with an expensively high foundation. Also, state officials long had planned to redo Illinois Highway 178 to divert its noisy truck traffic, and when they did, many of the homes on Church Street would have to go.
At first, Bimm had been determined to rebuild right on the same spot. This was home. Long divorced, this was where she’d raised her two sons, Shayne and Blayne, by herself. But there was just too much up in the air. Bimm wanted to move on, to get going. She didn’t like to stand still. So she bought the lot and began planning her new house.
It would be white with cranberry shutters, just like the old one. On June 21, Buck Bierbom dug the foundation, using the same equipment he’d used to help clear tons of rubble from the Milestone site.
– – – – –
Pat Elsbury had finally had enough. Enough of the dilemmas. Enough of the back-and-forth–both the highway kind and the philosophical kind.
In mid-July she gave her notice in La Grange. Her last day on the job, a job she’d had for 13 years, was July 30. She cleaned out her desk, packed her pickup and drove straight to Duffy’s, where by early evening she was drinking a Miller Lite at the bar, and talking and laughing. "This is what I want to do," she said. "This is where I want to be. I don’t want to be back there anymore." Simple, declarative statements.
What wasn’t so simple, though, was making up for the money Duffy’s had lost. It was only closed for three weeks after the tornado, but the tourists who normally thronged into Utica on summer days on their way to Starved Rock were taking other routes. They’d heard about the disaster and, according to what Lisle Elsbury was picking up here and there, they figured Utica was still in disarray. That exasperated him, but what could he do?
One Sunday afternoon in August, he was sitting in the back room of Duffy’s, looking grim and discouraged. There were smudges on his forearms; he’d been struggling to fix an exhaust fan in the basement. But what really irritated Lisle was his insurance company, with whom he’d been tangling all week about repairs to the front of the tavern. The threshold was crucial, Lisle believed. The three-sided glass entrance with neat wooden trim was Duffy’s signature. You just couldn’t do it on the cheap. It had to be done right.
He wasn’t going to compromise. He and Pat had sold their house, had sunk every nickel they had into this place, had staked their future on the corner of Mill and Canal Streets. No way would he short-change it all now because some guy in a button-down shirt with a clipboard didn’t get it, didn’t understand why the entrance had to be special. No way. He was a fighter, Lisle Elsbury was, and he hadn’t survived a tornado just to capitulate to some insurance company.
Lisle was bothered, too, by something Pat had mentioned: When she told her boss back in La Grange goodbye for the last time, he’d given her a look. The look, she said, could have meant only one thing: You’re not going to make it.
– – – – –
Pat had shrugged it off. Come and see us in a year, she wanted to shout at him. Come back and see us then.
Mike Miller returned to work part time for the railroad Nov. 9, running a locomotive. He walked with a limp and probably always would, his doctors told him. He didn’t mind. "As long as I don’t fall flat on my face," Mike told Debbie, "I don’t care."
The Miller kids started school in LaSalle, and Mike and Debbie’s biggest concern was Chris; at the threat of a storm, the merest hint of one, the quiet little boy was terrified. They alerted his teachers: If a storm came, they’d need to hold him, to tell him things would be OK.
Debbie Miller put in job applications to cook at several restaurants. No luck yet, but she was hopeful. She didn’t spend her afternoons in a dark room anymore.
They still had money problems, though, and wondered how they were going to cover Christmas gifts for the kids. And they still hadn’t been able to afford a headstone for Mike Jr.’s grave in Sterling, 47 miles northwest of Utica.
On Aug. 16, at about 5:30 a.m., Mike and Debbie’s daughter Michelle had given birth to 5-pound, 10-ounce Melodie Marie. Debbie stayed all night at the hospital, and when she returned home mid-morning, exhausted but joyful, there was a lightness in her face that hadn’t been there in a while. Her smile was tentative–she still wasn’t sure about the world, after what it had taken from her–but the smile came more easily now, lingered longer. The haunted quality in her eyes had receded a bit.
Yet even as she sat on the couch that morning and talked about Melodie Marie, photos spread out on the coffee table, Debbie had to know that just above her head, high on the wall in the Millers’ living room, was a picture of Mike Jr.
He was facing the camera, and the tall, skinny young man with the glasses and straight blondish-brown hair wore his mother’s smile: shy, cautious, not quite sure he can trust the world, not really certain it has his best interests at heart.
By the end of November, Bimm’s new house was coming along nicely. The walls were up, and so was the crisp white siding, the gray roof.
She loved to stop by and watch her contractor, Tom Trump, and his crew do their work. And she had a little more time on her hands these days; she and Dave Edgcomb had been notified Sept. 17 that they’d passed the test to be certified as EMT Intermediates, so there were no more classes.
The flat crash of hammering, the piney astringent smell of new wood: Bimm liked to walk around the job site and plan what she was going to put where. She hoped to move in by Christmas. She’d been living in a small trailer that her sons bought for her the day after the tornado, setting it up on Blayne’s property.
Some afternoons Bimm would drive out to the site of her new house and just stand in the yard, taking it all in, while the wind fingered its way through the trees.
If you glanced up at the sky, the blue seemed to go on forever–up and up, straight through the roof of the world–and to spread seamlessly from horizon to horizon. So blue, so calm, so beautiful. You would almost swear nothing bad could ever come from such a sky.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
To report this story, Tribune reporter Julia Keller interviewed the nine survivors of the Milestone collapse, and their friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues; and the friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues of the victims of the Milestone collapse; over a seven-month period, beginning a week after the tornado.
She also interviewed townspeople of Utica, Ill.; public officials, including employees and elected officials of Utica and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Chicago office; tornado experts such as Howard Bluestein of the University of Oklahoma; public safety officials, including Utica Fire Chief Dave Edgcomb, Utica Police Chief Joseph Bernardoni, LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton and LaSalle County Coroner Jody Bernard.
The reporter also used newspaper and television accounts of the tornado, and consulted historical books about Utica and the surrounding countryside.
Passages describing downtown Utica before and after the tornado were based on first-hand observations by the reporter, and on the observations of townspeople who were interviewed. Descriptions of the interior of Milestone the night of the tornado were based on the recollections of survivors and on the recollections of other townspeople who frequented the bar. Descriptions of the exterior were based on photographs and the accounts of Utica citizens.
Passages describing the rescue at Milestone were based on eyewitness accounts obtained from multiple interviews with firefighters, police officers, EMTs and volunteer citizen rescuers at the scene that night, along with the recollections of survivors and townspeople present shortly after the tavern collapsed.
Scenes of the Miller family’s life after being rescued from Milestone–in their Utica home; sitting on the porch with Mike Miller; searching for a new home; the morning their granddaughter was born–were witnessed by the reporter. Scenes of Pat and Lisle Elsbury’s life after the tornado were compiled through first-hand observation by the reporter and through interviews; thoughts and emotions attributed to the Elsburys were derived from multiple interviews with the couple.
Passages dealing with Shelba Bimm, Edgcomb, Steve Maltas, Gloria Maltas, Rona Burrows and other townspeople were based on interviews and observations by the reporter.
Scenes that were not witnessed by the reporter were assembled through multiple interviews with people who were present, both named in the story and not named. When thoughts and emotions are presented, those thoughts and emotions come directly from the reporter’s interviews. Descriptions of the activities and thoughts of people who died in the collapse were compiled through interviews with those who were present, or those to whom the deceased had confided their thoughts and emotions.
20110405 – raccoon #6 – 0 of damage, promptly escaped – IMG_2918
Image by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
This guy escaped within 2 minutes of this picture being taken, due to Carolyn setting the trap up wrong AND clipping the wrong part of the trap closed. These traps are only so good. Unfortunately, the rear "door" (left in this picture) can be escaped from if you push hard enough to bend metal, which raccoons do. Carolyn clipped it (not part of the original cage) on the top-left instead of the bottom-middle. It is metaphorically like trying to keep a door from opening by tying a rope around the hinges — it just makes no sense. 🙂 (Admittedly though, someone not experienced with the trap would probably make the same mistake. But we’ve been using this trap for years.)
But then Carolyn noticed that she hadn’t set the trap correctly either. (Setting/baiting the traps is her job, dealing with the wild animal and repair contractors is my job, and I’d gladly trade.)
Lessons learned for next time! If I set the cage outside, I’ll set it with the rear facing a wall, so it can’t be opened. Maybe put it between a rock and a hard place so there’s now way out. And the rear "door" (kind of a design flaw, really) is now clipped correctly. And Carolyn has already re-deployed it, correctly set up.
Anyway, it was NOT a fun 30 minute ordeal at 6:30AM while both of us were sleeping. especially since it resulted in nothing other than the acknowledgement that we just failed to capture yet another raccoon that did yet another 0 of damage to our house. If anyone wants to pay for my house repairs, you can have my raccoons. Otherwise, I’m going to figure out how to most easily kill them, because they home up to 5 miles and come back and continue to damage your property.
This fucker ripped off the opposing soffit to our addition; when this happened last time, it cost 0 to repair.
My largest hunting knife was right there, open-bladed, laying in the attic, a foot from this varmint. I had an opportunity to plunge its blade into this fucker’s brain, but no, I didn’t take it. (Actually, it wouldn’t be possible to stab through a cage….)
Seriously, though — how does one swiftly kill a raccoon in a cage so that it doesn’t suffer? I’m done driving these guys to the park — for all I know this is one that we already trapped in the past. Anyone want to come remove the bags of shit in my attic? No? Fine. It’s just going to sit there forever. My 0 ladder is not tall enough to get to the soffit to fix it from outside — and it’s rather perilous to get to that point within the attic (only really possible without a major hassle due to the attic ladder we installed this year, which was in response to raccoons).
I just them dead. All of them.On the entire planet. I would press an extinction button in a second without a thought. Destroy all raccoons.
So can I drown them? I have a plastic tub outside. That seems really drawn out and mean, but it can be done while they are still in the cage without having to touch them or make a bloody mess.
I can’t shoot it with my gun because it’s not legal to fire my gun on my property. And it would be a bad idea to drop them into my well, where they would stink up my emergency water supply.
And no, before you ask — animal control does not do anything in this situation. If it’s in your attic, it doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction, and if it is trapped, it does not fall under their jurisdiction.
Incidentally, the wooden "stakes" are the old tripod legs from my childhood telescope (which was my dad‘s childhood telescope). We recently decommissioned it (I keep the screws from things I throw away, they often come in handy later). I decided to keep the stakes. Figured they’d come in handy. Naught but a week later, I’m using the stakes to make sure it’s mouth can’t get near the handle of the cage. Don’t want raccoon rabies. Although they have only killed one American in history, I still don’t want raccoon rabies. I’d be the type to not go to the doctor and become the 2nd one to die from it… Anyway, I’m amazed how random pieces of wood find uses in the strangest situations.
cage, raccoon, stakes, trap, tripod legs.
April 5, 2011.
Image by LWO
Moment before falling asleep on the surgical operating table. Last view, may be the least.
This is also the last image I have in my head before falling asleep, a strange image … How to be relaxed ?
From a series of photographies about the topic of medicine.
Batman vs Superman with a side of Marvel Lady. Highlight? The popcorn … and I do not like popcorn. #dontpayfullprice #notworthit ” http://ift.tt/1RBI465″ rel=” nofollow” >
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