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Wadena residents share tornado stories in book

WADENA, Minn. - Residents here are sharing their stories in a book about the two tornadoes that devastated the community one year ago Friday.

"Twisted Together by an EF4" is the product of more than a dozen Wadena County residents, ages 12 to 80, who worked with a journalist, a book designer and oral history experts, according to the Minnesota Historical Society.

A book launch will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the Wadena County Historical Society, 603 Jefferson St. N., Wadena, MN 56482-2336. The event will feature a performance of "Happy Days Are Here Again: Uplifting Songs of the 1930s and 40s with Rhonda Laurie," as well as food from Harvest Thyme Bistro and raffle prizes.

The book also will be available as part of the city's June Jubilee celebration.

Book proceeds will benefit the local Disaster Relief Committee and the Wadena County Historical Society.

The following is an excerpt from the book, written by Rodney Tucker of Wadena:

"The sound of the glass and the community center metal roof falling on my house was just deafening. It spooked the dog; he ran upstairs, and without thinking I followed him. As soon as I got to him in the living room the house had caved in on both me and the dog and I was pinned down under the debris. ... What saved my life was the dorm-type refrigerator my son had in the living room next to where I fell. It held everything up from falling on us ... it was the refrigerator of my son's that saved my life, and the will of God, of course."

The book is part of the state historical society's "Sharing Community Stories" program.