Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tragedy and Triumph

Dear Mom,

Last week, it was the one year anniversary of Joplin’s devastating disaster when an EF5 tornado wiped away a good portion of the town, killing over 150 people and destroying businesses and homes. One home demolished was my friend's, Geoffrey.

The anniversary slipped by since I was all excited about Rita’s movie, "Maison Des Rêveurs" being shown on the Video Wall in CityGarden, which by the way… just in my humble opinion, she should’ve placed 2nd or 3rd. You can see it on Rita's blog now.

But what do I know about film? I didn’t get the 2nd place film, which would’ve bumped 3rd up to 2nd, putting Rita’s film at the very least to 3rd. But then, I am her mother. I can guarantee you this—Rita’s film had a ton more work in her film than the 2nd place film. However, Rita triumphed in the fact she received honorable mention, showed up for the event and dressed up to boot—her outfit coordinated with the main character in her film.

Rita, family and friends were the only ones there when it started. Another couple came a little later that I assumed made one of the films. I found it odd that no one else was there. Maybe they’ve done this so many times, it wasn’t a big deal? Or maybe a disaster struck in their own personal lives—who am I to judge?

Back to Joplin’s tragedy…Claudia Mundell came up with the idea to create an anthology. Deb Marshall, then president of Missouri Writers' Guild got the ball rolling. Now published by Mozark Press is Storm Country. All proceeds from the sale of this book goes to the Joplin School District libraries. Even though Joplin is rebuilding, more help is always needed.

Behind Storm Country is a huge supportive group of people who rally together whether picking up the pieces and putting things back together again or applauding for the success of those around them and for that, I say thank you.


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  1. Whose sweet voice did all the singing? (I made the mistake of NOT enlarging the picture; I wanted to make sure the images did not turn fuzzy by making it larger.)

    I did a film in high school--claymation--and it was laughable, because I did not mark EXACTLY what spot on the sidewalk I left off with the day before, so my figures really "jumped" around. I intended on coming, looked up the event information, and then worked too late in my classroom (STILL boxing up crap) to come. So thanks for the link...I enjoyed it.

  2. Congrats on the honorable mention to Rita, I just watched the video and really liked it!

  3. Hi Lynn,

    Congratulations to Rita! I'll be sure to visit her blog and watch the whole movie.

    I love my copy of the Storm Country anthology; and your story about Geoffrey is wonderful.

    I haven't been living it, but it seems longer than a year ago to me. I will remember that day always, and how amazed I was that the Facebook community banded together and began to help within 20 minutes. Way before the government had time to act.

    Hugs and continued success to you and your talented family!

    Kathy M.

  4. I hope this is only be beginning of Rita's film life! We all have to start somewhere.

    Joplin hangs tough. Amazing.

  5. Sioux, the sweet voice is Rita's BFF, Rebekah O'Brien. She not only sang it, but composed it, and played the ukelele - just for the movie. I just love the song.
    Estrella - thank you!
    Kathy - thanks for all the nice compliments, glad you enjoyed Storm
    Bookie - I hope so too and yes, Joplin is amazing.

  6. Awesome, Rita should have taken first place. Yes, Claudia and Deb got that ball rolling. A year already?

  7. I love Rita's film-- it's absolutely beautiful. I posted it on my FB and Twitter feeds.
    She's really gifted. I hope she keeps making movies-- what a talent!

  8. Loved the video. She did a beautiful job!

    Critter Alley

  9. Gosh, what a touching post. How horrible for natural disasters to strike so close to home. We live in earthquake central but never think the “big one” will come. I’m so happy about your daughter’s honourable mention. I’m sure she should have won 2nd, (if not first). I’ve sent her link to Chloe so maybe they can meet each other.

  10. What an amazing film! I love how she is dressed like the cardinal, too!

  11. Thank you Linda, Pat and Tammy.
    Claudia, I'm sure Rita appreciated the extra PR. Thank you.
    Veronica, I'll try and remember to let Rita know about Chloe. Thank you.

  12. You have an amazingly talented daughter--your mom would be proud--as should you.


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