5 Responses

  1. Kenneth C. Moore at |

    Oh, do I remember that. I think I was living on Fifth Street at the time but can’t remember the street for sure. The tornado came through but at the time we just thought it was a violent storm. Several of us went out into the street and we could look straight down the street into downtown Waco. We all decided help was needed, and here it gets a bit comical. We thought we’d have more clout or authority on the scene if we put our AFROTC uniforms on. Not only that, but a couple of us were in the drill team at that time and put on our white drill team helmets. We took off walking down the street and we must have been a sight. As it occurred, however, we were needed and made ourselves useful. The primary task was digging through the rubble to find survivors or bodies. I particularly remember digging in the rubble of a pool hall. One man had crawled under the pool table for protection, and that seemed like a logical thing to do. However, the strength of the bricks falling in collapsed the table, and he was crushed under it. I also remember that one group needed oxygen to feed to a survivor who was still under the rubble. I started looking and found an ambulance with oxygen inside it. The ambulance crew did not want to give it up, but they finally did. Other than that I don’t remember much except the chaos. Everybody wanted to help but it was not an organized effort. Nonetheless, it worked. People just dove in and worked where needed. Kenneth Moore

  2. Melanie Neal at |

    My grandfather was John Porter Neal. It says there are no historical records but my father, uncle and myself could provide more detail to update his mention including a photo. His wife was a Baylor Beauty- Mary Alexander Neal, daughter or R.B. Alexander who had a medical practice in downtown Waco. John Porter left a wife and 2 young sons behind.

    1. Robert Neal at |

      John Porter Neal Jr was a business major part time. He was 6 hours away from graduating.
      He started Baylor after high school in Wellington,Texas.
      His father was. Chaplain at VA Waco after finishing a career as a chaplain at Fort Hood. Zella was the mother of JP Jr. She was a Baylor graduate and a graduate of Baptist seminary in Fort Worth where she met and married her husband.
      JP Jr owned a hamburger stand on Lake Waco and was involved in low cost pre-fab housing in East Waco. He was manager of large appliance section of Dennis Department store.
      He went Dove hunting with his father in law Dr R B Alexander who identified his body in the morgue so that his daughter was spared the sight of his crushed body. I have the watch that was retrieved from his wrist. It still works. I have Dr R B ‘ pocket watch that still works. My Rolex wore out.
      The death of my father when I was 13 months old left a poorly defined hole in my heart. My mother continued to function as a superb school teacher for 26 years, but never fully recovered.
      JP Jr was first child of his parents and first grandson of the Motley’s of Hollis, Oklahoma. His death left a big hole in multiple families. He was/ is related by blood to many Baylor graduates and many Baylor graduates by marriage. I was a black sheep and went to Rice. My son went to Baylor and so the tradition continues. Green blood runs in my family. I am only a sixth generation Baptist and my son is a sixth generation Texan.

      1. George Gamble at |

        Dr. RB Alexander was my childhood Doctor I was 16 months old at the time. My mother put me in the tub covered with a mattress.lived in the old south Waco neighbor Hood of Edgefild near the campus.

  3. Daryl Sims at |

    My father LeGrand Sims (class’s of ‘54)was at baseball practice. He tells the story of the Baylor Baseball team hiding in the dugouts during the storm. The bleachers were ripped off from over their heads and the scoreboard bent in two.
    Afterward they were some of the first on the scene downtown and helped by digging into collapsed buildings and pulling people out.


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