Tornado Carries Bank Check From Woodward, OK To Hutchinson

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You’ve heard of airmail. Well, one Hutchinson resident got an airmail delivery he wasn’t expecting.

Junior Klima, while mowing his lawn after last month’s tornado outbreak, mowed over what he first thought was just a piece of paper. But when he emptied the grass bag, he made a fascinating discovery.

"When I dumped it, I realized that it was a check. So, I took it and picked it all out and went into my building over there and pieced it together. And by golly I couldn't believe it was from the tornado area," says Emil “Junior” Klima.

That tornado area is Woodward in northwest Oklahoma. After Klima taped the check together, he called his local paper, The Hutch News, to report his find, and the paper did a good story. The Woodward family the check belonged to happened to find the story on an internet search and called Klima to verify.

"He called me and said that was the only check he left because they had them in the attic and they were destroyed and that check meant a lot to him," says Klima.

The check belongs to Bob and Anita Starling. It was written back in 1993 on a now closed account. The Starlings got a phone call warning them the tornado was approaching them seconds before it hit.

The Oklahoma tornado picked up what was in the attic and scattered it, carrying one bank check roughly 174 miles to Junior Klima’s back yard.

And since that old check carries such memories, the Woodward couple will be framing it, hanging it on the wall and forever remembering the check that blew from Woodward, Oklahoma to Hutchinson, Kansas.

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