Back in the 1970s when I was a kid, it didn't happen a lot, but I do remember occasions when the civil defense siren was sounded because of tornado warnings.

TORNADO WARNINGS = PANIC IN A SMALL BOY

When that would happen, I would immediately panic. Thankfully, my parents and my sister weren't prone to that sort of thing and calmly gathered the important items and headed to my grandmother's house. She didn't live too far away and she had a basement. By the way, I'd grab all my Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. If there was going to be a disaster, I needed to be prepared.

While most of those instances run together in my mind, one does stand out.

THE TORNADO WARNING THAT CLEARED A ROOM

My dad was a member of the Kiwanis Club and one night, he hosted an informal gathering of club members in our living room. Mom, of course, was the hottest with the mostest and she made sure everyone had whatever snacks and however much coffee they needed. At some point during the course of that meeting, she took a headcount and went into the kitchen to get the appropriate number of cups of coffee for everyone. As soon as she left the room, one of Dad's Kiwanis friends came to the front door just long enough to tell everyone a tornado warning had been issued in Owensboro.

The room cleared.

HUMOR IN THE FACE OF DISASTER

And when Mom came back INTO the living room with the coffee, it was empty; Dad was outside saying goodbye to everyone. Well, it wasn't long before the tornado sirens went off and we sprung into action and went over my grandmother's house. But in that small window, Mom (who was always quick to apply humor to most situations) thought, "Where did everyone go? It can't be the Rapture because I wouldn't still be here."

I always enjoyed that story and am so glad it's one of the many of hers that I remember.

Mom passed away in July of this year, but we'll always have her awesome stories. Consequently, we'll ALWAYS have her.

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