A little over a week ago, Wetumpka, Alabama, a town I love, was hit very hard by a tornado. The beautiful, historic sanctuary of its First Presbyterian Church — built all the way back in 1856 — was demolished. But here’s a small something: Bertha, the church’s standup bass, still stands.
“We are okay,” says bassist/pastor Jonathan Yarboro: “We do not need anything at the moment other than prayers. We are so blessed to live in the caring community we live in.”
Yarboro’s message continues: “Love your peeps. That’s all that really matters.” And to that I say amen. But still, I’d ask you to find some way to help out Wetumpka and its Wetumpkans, if you can. (Yarboro encourages those who want to send financial help to his church to send it instead to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance fund.)
In the meantime, I urge you to celebrate small miracles (like the miracle of Bertha) where you find them, and — yes, and always — to keep loving your peeps.
Here’s what happened five years ago this week:
Pete Seeger died, and Alabama was consumed by ice and snow.
I spent the night of the snowstorm on a wrestling mat in a high school gymnasium, surrounded by a couple hundred screaming teenage boys. (Plenty of others had it worse than that.) On the radio that Saturday, I played a bunch of songs about cold snaps and winter weather and traffic jams — did I mention the traffic jams? — along with a bunch of Pete Seeger songs. You can hear that show in its entirety, archived here:
It’s supposed to snow again tonight, by the way, and the governor has gone ahead and declared a state of emergency. So I advise you hunker down, and to enjoy the #wintrymix above.
Be safe, everybody.