Walt's Look Around: Tyler's Sunflowers - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Tyler's Sunflowers

April 28, 2014   Source: WLBT April 28, 2014 Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
LOUISVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The storm has gone but it is far from being forgotten. Back on April 28th of this year we had a devastating tornado outbreak in Mississippi. One of the hardest hit areas of the state was Louisville, and four months later, there are still plenty of reminders of the storm.

In the south and eastern parts of Louisville, in Winston County, you'll see the characteristic bleak landscape left behind by the sweeping winds of a tornado. These were homes and landscaped yards and tall trees and families working to make their dreams come true.

Some houses sit much like they were the day after the storm, crusted over by time, now, untouched. while other spots show signs that there is hope and there is a tenacity to scrap together the leftovers, discard what can't be salvaged, salvage the rest and move on.

Tacked to utility poles in the hardest hit areas are stars of encouragement, some with hearts drawn on them. Others with reminders that those hit by the tornado aren't forgotten nor are they alone.  

In the foyer of Fair Elementary School is Tyler Tucker's desk. Tyler was a 2nd grader here last year. Dr. Leigh Ann Hailey was Tyler's principal.

Tyler was a very polite student," said Dr. Hailey. "He was one of those students you enjoyed seeing every day. He always had a smile on his face."

Tyler and his parents were caught by the tornado and the three of them were among the 10 killed in the storm. Tyler's grandmother came to the 2nd grade at Fair Elementary and gave each student a card with which they could remember Tyler. Tyler's favorite flower was the sunflower.

"And in that card it had kind of the story of the sunflower and it had a picture of Tyler and a packet of sunflower seeds," said Dr. Hailey.

I don't know what all the youngsters did with their seeds. Planted them in their yards, maybe. But as I was getting shots of the left over devastation, I ran across this little patch of sunflowers in the yard of where a house used to be, out in the middle of the hardest hit part of Louisville. Tyler's sunflowers. There are other patches at the odd place on the roadsides.

It gives you chill bumps to ride down the street and see them growing different places," said Dr. Hailey.

The growing season is coming to an end soon. A reminder of the brevity of life, I guess. And, as hard as it is to find surviving patches of Tyler's sunflowers now, soon they will all be gone. But, only to come up again next spring and grow on their own. And perhaps spread and fill up the empty places left by the ravages of the tornado.

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