The Journey Home
Having in a sense made history, the homesick chase team was ready to begin their 12 hour journey home from Amarillo, Texas. Team leaders Mike Ridgeway and Don Wheeler had one final interview with Pioneer Productions in an open field west of Amarillo. The 45 minute interview was basically a summary of the events leading to the chase and our views on its success.
We traveled down US 287 across northern Texas until we reached Fort Worth, then onto Interstate 20 leading back home to Monroe. We arrived in Monroe at around 12 midnight.
The chase was a success; however, the waiting game will begin to see whether or not we made the final cut. That won't be known for quite some time. The four part documentary is scheduled to air in February, 2000. They will include "The History of Storm Chasing," "Storm Chasers," "The Tornadoes of 1999," and "The Survivors."
The team felt very confident that they would make the cut and be in the documentary at some point. According to chief producer Brian Leckey, "I won't guarantee it; but, it looks quite likely you will be in there." One of the photographers did make the statement, "Absolutely you made it!"
The CHS Chase Team did chase with two different groups of photographers on different days. Each said independently of the other that the CHS team was the best team that they had been with. That statement came after chasing with the great chasers such as Project Vortex, Dr. Howie Bleustein, Dr. Chuck Doswell, and the Doppler-On-Wheels.
Many thanks and appreciation go out to those responsible for making this project happen. Dr. George Cannon, Mr. Robert Johnson, Monroe City School Board, KTVE-TV, and Alisa Mabry of The News-Star. Of course, the help of Ms. Patricia Schneider, Mr. Brad Farrington, and Mr. Mike Ridgeway and Pierre Tuscow of Twin Falls, Idaho.
More importantly, a special thanks to the fine people of Pioneer Productions for their kind and courteous patience with the team. The opportunity provided to us was invaluable.
And last, but not least, the parents of the students that were a part of the team. Many thanks for the trust that you had in us to protect, guard, and teach the world's most precious commodity - your children.
Louisiana Delta Community College