That string of at least five tornadoes on Saturday, April 29 left thousands of folks in Van Zandt, Henderson, Rains, Smith and Wood counties with lots of cleanup to do.

The stormy weather did the most damage in the Canton area — leaving behind four dead and many more injured. Before the night was over, neighbors started helping neighbors pick through the rubble and save what they could for the families affected.

Tommy Phillips, Extension Agent in Van Zandt County, said a number of homes and barns were lost or severely damaged. With fences down, some cattle and other livestock drifted away. The owners of the Emory Livestock Auction at Emory opened their pens to hold stray livestock until their owners could be located.

The Good Lord had to be looking down on Canton as the tornadoes went on their deadly path. First Monday was going full blast in that city with thousands of folks on hand looking for treasures — and junk. If the path of the tornadoes had deviated slightly, the loss of life would have been catastrophic at the First Monday event.

Getting big numbers of farmers and ranchers to attend agricultural events is sometimes like pulling eye teeth. Maybe some of those events just don’t seem to offer real value for those attending.

Here is an exception — coming up Friday, May 19th! It’s the O.D. Butler Field Day, an annual event drawing hundreds of farmers and ranchers from several East Texas counties. As in past years, the program will take place at Camp Cooley Ranch just off Highway 79 near Franklin. (Camp Cooley Ranch is a division of Circle X Land and Cattle Company. GPS address is 4297 Camp Cooley Ranch Rd, Franklin, Texas).

Registration will  be from 8 to 9 a.m. Featured this year will be feral hog control methods, growing quality forages, brush and weed control, and a look at the latest equipment for cutting, raking and baling hay.

Registration fee is $25 and that includes a catered barbecue lunch. The registration fee can be paid on arrival at the ranch.

At too many of our esteemed colleges and universities, some students are such wimps that they need to go back home to Mama!

The libraries at Harvard University have catered to the spoiled brats with a new policy on overdue books. Stephen Beardsley, a Harvard official, says the old policy of charging 50 cents a day for overdue books is being discarded. Beardsley said the fines “stressed out” many of the students.

He said Harvard recognized their “pain”! What next, offering diapers and pacifiers to the students?

Horace@valornet.comn