Saturday, May 05, 2007


(What's left of the Greesburg High School)

Nearly the entire population of Greensburg is homeless after the community is devastated. Greensburg is a beautiful, historic town in America's heartland. Ten people have now died in the worst tornado in our country's history. Miraculously, a baby was found alive above ground in a bathtub, nestled in her mother's arms. The mother was found alive too. Thank God!!

GREENSBURG, Kan. | This small southwestern Kansas town no longer has a grade school, a high school, a hospital, a fire station, a business district or a main street.

Eight residents lie dead, and it may be days before rescuers digging through unfathomable tons of rubble can figure out if there are more. A ninth victim was found in the Pratt County town of Hopewell. At least 16 others are in critical condition in hospitals as far away as Wichita, 110 miles to the east. (The Wichita Eagle)

Linda Young of ALL HEADLINE NEWS reporting from Greesburg reports:

Adding to the woes of residents of Greensburg, Kansas who survived Friday's tornado was the slow response by the National Guard. The guard had trouble responding because some of the equipment needed is in Iraq. One of the National Guard's primary duties is responding to natural disasters and assisting Americans.

Much of the money allocated to guard units is for the equipment, including trucks used to move equipment to wherever it's needed.

"Your National Guard is prepared to respond to fires, floods, hurricanes, and a host of other natural disasters," reads a statement on the Guard's Web site.

But the National Guard unit responding to the disaster in Greensburg wasn't prepared. It was slowed down in getting there because they didn't have all the equipment they needed to respond.

Some of their equipment is in Iraq, National Public Radio announcer Carl Castle reported Monday morning.

"We're missing about half our trucks" as well as Humvees and trained personnel that are in Iraq, said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, on NPR Monday morning.


Mayweather beat Oscar de la Hoya in the big fight tonight at the MGM Grand. Our friend Steve Kaufman, the pop artist, did original art for the event.

This is a big weekend. First it was the red skin, then the black skin. The secretive commercials started coming early and I overheard my 12 year old say in a cryptic mesmerized tone, “Cool. The new one." The commercials had no voice over, no music, nothing except the red checkered, masked man.

I took four boys, ages 11-13, to see SPIDERMAN today. INCREDIBLE!!! There is a lot to be said for capitalism when its not abused. The most stressful part was standing in the will-call line, then having to race to get seats, then go back out and juggle 3 hotdogs, 2 nachos, 4 popcorns and assorted sour worms.

One of my sons had a crush on a certain girl last year in 4th grade. Now he says, "I can't be tied down all my life with one girl."

The kids stumble over each other trying NOT to sit next to me in the theater. God forbid I say 'cool, hip, hot, awesome, tight, sweet or bitchin'... or whisper a plot point in their ear. They hiss at me, SHH! SHHHHHHHHHH! Still, it is sheer magic being with them no matter how rude they are to me.

I have gone to the Kentucky Derby several times, as a guest of Anita and Preston Madden. There is nothing like going to the Derby and being driven by a police escort the wrong way on the freeway to get there on time! Those were the days when Mary Lou Whitney and Anita Madden would compete for celebrities to attend their Derby parties -- lavish affairs that would start at noon and last all night.

"There is a long tradition of wild and strange parties around Derby time...the most notorious is Anita Madden's Derby Eve blowout at her family's Hamburg Place farm in Lexington (her husband's grandfather, John E. Madden, bred five Derby winners there). The party, which benefits a Lexington charity called the Bluegrass Boys' Ranch, always has a fanciful theme. A sampling -- Rapture of the Deep, complete with mermaids and mermen and a figure of an octopus surrounded by a dry-ice fog; The Ultimate Odyssey, with young people togged out as Greek gods and goddesses while the Trojan War was reenacted under the gaze of a sixteen foot statue of Zeus clutching a neon thunderbolt." - Kelly Coughlin

Anita Madden would start the day by serving her guests mint juleps and a picnic lunch. We would all travel by a private bus to the Derby.

Robert Dreyfuss was in town Friday and we celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday at El Torito Grill. So great to see him. He knows everything about what's really going on in Washington.