The Bomb Book

(The Bomb Book is a huge 3-ring binder, metal hinges, with over 200 pages, mostly laminated newspaper articles, a few photos & such.)

Assembling this book became my therapy following the Murrah Building bombing April 19th, 1995. Although I didn't know anyone killed or injured in the bombing I was close to it in many ways. I had lived in the Regency Tower apartment building, 1 block west of the Murrah Building, in 1986 & 1987. I had walked from the Regency Tower to the Murrah Building on the way to work many times. I had also walked through the Murrah Building's underground parking garage on the way to work when the weather was bad.

In 87 I bought a house & lived in it till 1995. In April of 95 I decided to move back to the Regency Tower. I put a deposit on an apartment just 1 week before the bombing. Fortunately I hadn't started moving in though. Two days later, on Good Friday, I left town to go on vacation for a week. I seriously considered changing my vacation & moving into the Regency Tower instead. If I had done that, I would have been in the middle of moving when the bomb went off on Wednesday the 19th.

Also fortunate was the fact that I hadn't rented out my house yet. I had a place to live for the next 6 months. That's how long the Regency Tower was closed for repairs & the residents had to find alternative housing.

When the bomb went off I was in Louisville Kentucky. I had gone to my parents' house in Paducah & spent a couple of nights with them, then headed to Louisville where I spent a couple of days doing genealogy research. On the morning of the bombing I was in a hotel room getting dressed & ready to head back to Paducah, watching the news on CNN.

When CNN mentioned something about an explosion in Oklahoma City I contacted work using my notebook computer. It was so soon after the bomb that no one really knew what had happened yet. When CNN reported that authorities were requesting that people not clog the phone lines to Oklahoma City I disconnected.

I called my folks to tell them what was going on. And I watched. I’ll never forget the first scene that came over CNN from a helicopter flying over the Murrah Building. They were saying on the news how there were no reports of casualties yet. And then this shot from the helicopter with a massive chunk of the building gone, a chunk where I knew people would have been working, many people. Not only would there be casualties, but many deaths. I broke down at that point, hung up on the folks & told them I’d call them back later.

It was a long drive back to their house, and there was little mention of the bombing on the radio, as it was still early. My first inclination was to get to their house, then load up and head back to Oklahoma. I felt like I should be there. Common sense won out though, & I stayed at their house the rest of the week, headed home Saturday.

Someone at work had saved some newspapers for me. As I started going through them I found articles that I wanted to keep, so I started clipping. I focused mainly on the positive aspects as much as possible; the prayers, poems, stories, well-wishes from all over the world. You won’t find very many pictures of Timothy McVeigh in the book.

The pages with the pink tabs have something to do with the Regency Tower.