The following is a re-post of my personal recollections of that day- May 4 1977 ....
On the prior weekend, I had spent that Sunday with a female companion at a pool party at a home of the companion's sister and brother-in-law on Delaware Street in the Baldwin Park area of PLEASANT HILL,MO, a suburban community of (then) around 2,500 people about 25 miles southeast of Downtown KC,MO..
The tornado is no-doubt rain-wrapped, but was still well ahead of us. I was thinking now of the hosts of that previous weekend's pool party, for they were both employed by the town's school district.
Both the scanning and CB radios were useless, I didn't even know if the tornado was still on the ground, let alone that PLEASANT HILL might be hit.
Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper E.J. Horne arrived several minutes after we did and witnessed the utter chaos. Attempts were already underway to round up and account for the many dozens of students crawling out the battered high school.
Trooper Horne jumped in his cruiser and radioed the sighting as I asked students where an appropriate shelter might be located. That was the basement of the First Baptist church, several blocks west of the school.
With relief, the engine came to life as the half-dozen or so students crammed into and on the Cutlass and we headed without delay to the church.
We arrived in the midst of more chaos as people were pouring into the area of the church by foot and by vehicle. With no parking spaces nearby, I parked in the front yard of a home next to the church and we ran inside.
I stood on a chair and in the loudest voice I could muster, asked for everybody's attention. Among scattered sobs, the room became amazingly quiet.
We had forgotten about the 2nd funnel cloud. One of the medics assured me that it had moved away east of town.
We left the church basement into bright, warm sunshine. We made our way back to M-7 and turned north. Before leaving town however, I decided to turn down Delaware Street to check on the house where the pool party had been held.
Two persons were killed in the PLEASANT HILL tornado that day ... one in a mobile home near the Highways M-7 and M-58 junction and one in a house in the Baldwin Park area.
The tornado's total path was surveyed at nearly 30 miles long with an average width reported to be 500 yards. The storm was officially rated as a strong F-3 on the FUJITA scale.