Alice's Attic: The Tuesday that was anything but ordinary
June 24. 2014 1:31PM
I didn't have a column written in the June 18 Tribune because I didn't know for sure how much more could be written about such a terrible accident. Reading the paper, I must have been nervous, because the article stated that I said, "It's really scary, it makes me really nervous."
Well, yes, I was, but, I could have said, "It's really frightening and makes me nervous."
One definitely wouldn't think that there would be anything humorous about it. But, that's the thing with me. I did.
When I saw two of our neighbors walking towards our back yard, where many seemed to be congregating, carrying a paint brush, I wondered why they hadn't put them down first. I think they were also really nervous and really frightened.
I felt like we were celebrities with neighbors, police, firemen, reporters, TV guys, our city administrator, all gathered for information taking place in our yard! Dave was even on television. But we missed seeing him that night. Did he look good?
He wears a white cap. "I'm retired, this is as dressed up as I get."
After standing for a few hours staring at the high flames and being grateful that it didn't spread to Henry's house or anyone else's, and also wondering who was in the vehicle that blew up, the policeman came and told everyone that we need to evacuate our homes.
Did he say "evacuate?" That only happens on TV. “You mean, we actually have to get out of our house?”
So, I went calmy into our home and grabbed my purse>. Just in case, I said, "Goodbye, house. It's been a slice.” 46 years.
Dave and I headed to the museum, our second home. Our son, Scott, and wife, Marie, who were home from Washington met us there. Blaine, the Deli man, delivered our lunch.
Finally, not having power most of the afternoon, we decided to go home and check it out.
Scott said, "Go ahead, I will be up soon."
Well, Dave and I couldn't get to our house because more barricades had been set up. He didn't want to break the law or get arrested for going around the one at the end of our alley. But, I assured him that it would be fine. I directed him around and over a patch of grass. We made it!
Our power was on and one of the officers told us that we were safe to go in. I never thought to phone Scott, so, when he came, there was an officer standing by the barricade and told him that he couldn't go through. He wondered where we had gone and looked all over for us! Finally, he made it, came in and said, "where were you?"
I want to say that Jim Hallem was one lucky man who must have had a big angel sitting on his shoulder. We are all very thankful that he was somehow able to escape his burning vehicle after it exploded. Also, very thankful for all the capable and courageous firemen, all of the police officers, MidAmerican crew, Goldenwest crew and everyone who helped in any way. The Dell Rapids community owes you many thanks for all the grueling hours you worked on such a dangerous fire.