Lubbock man’s grandfather leaves book on 1970 tornado

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – As the anniversary of the 1970 Lubbock tornado that killed dozens and displaced many nears, one local man shared a historical book that his grandfather put together before he passed.

Wayne Davidson said his grandfather Ray Davidson, a former history professor at Texas Tech, put together a 29-page book that contains a series of articles from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal dating from May 13th to May 21st.

Wayne said he didn’t know anything about the book until the late 80’s.

“The pictures tell the story,” said Davidson. “It’s just remarkable at how much a tornado can do to destroy buildings and cars and throw airplanes.”

Wayne said he was only 14 years old when the tornado ravaged through Lubbock.

“[I] was watching the Carol Burnett Show a little after 9:30 p.m.,” Wayne said. “The tornado happened at 9:46. The news station came on and interrupted and said ‘Breaking News – There’s been a tornado that has devastated downtown Lubbock.'”

Wayne’s brother Alan said their father was working downtown when the tornado happened.

“It lifted, or partially lifted, the roof off the building [where he was working] while he was there upstairs and I remember them telling me talking about a tornado blowing out all of the windows downstairs, except just for his office area, so it was kind of amazing that he was in the middle of that.”

Alan said he didn’t remember too much of that day since he was in elementary school but said he was not surprised his grandfather put the book together.

“You gotta look at the time period. There’s no computers to capture records at that time. It took a big effort and that was his style,” said Alan.

Wayne said he looks through the book every year around the anniversary date and he hopes it will remain in the family.

“Something I’ll pass down, like he intended it to, I guess for us to pass down,” said Wayne.

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