He's been a mason his whole working life and prides himself on doing his work well. As we looked a project we need to finish in the back yard, he examined my cousin's work on our circular patio.
He couldn't believe that JR was able to do eyeball cuts with a tile saw.
"Them's some tight joints! I like to see quality work. He's a real mason. That's just beautiful."
I agreed, "Yeah, he's definitely an artist."
After business was finished, we launched into the story swap. We'd both seen (and cried) watching the video of the woman in Moore whose dog shows up while she's getting interviewed: http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/21/woman-finds-dog-lost-during-tornado-while-being-interviewed/
Then he tells me about a tornado that went through Wichita Falls 35 years ago. They'd dropped off his 7-month old son to visit the grandparents. The next day a half-mile wide tornado went down the town's main street. He and his wife drove up that night, black cloud still looming on the horizon.
When they got to the house, it was cut in half with a car up against the side of it. They found the family dog in a locked bathroom, but not his family. As they were panicking a neighbor came over and told them the family was safe down the street at the church. Phew! His father-in-law had held the closet doors shut by sheer force of will less the twister suck them all out the door.
"Them twisters is freaky! We found a loaf of bread, still closed in its wrapper, but packed full of dirt so's you couldn't eat it. There was gas tanks, still closed with rags hanging out the pipe. It sets up some crazy vacuum. Straws was stickin' out of walls. I hope I never see the like again."
Me, too, sir. Me, too.