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Prof. Guthe home on Brookwood, Ann Arbor, after gas line explosion during storm, May 11, 1959

Sat, 08/18/2007 - 11:42am by jaimonr

Image removed.
Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

Line squall blew over trees, tree roots broke gas line, house filled with gas, exploded, burned. Visible damage to house on right as well. The Ann Arbor News in 1959 labeled this storm "The Worst Ever to Hit Ann Arbor" -- but the newspaper's historical perspective tends to be limited to the memory of the oldest person on the staff at any given time . . . .

Chris Guthe was in University School with me then (Remember ‘U High’-Kindergarten thru 12th grade, associated with the U of M from 1924 to it’s demise in 1969?-Now School of Ed.) we were at the end of first grade then—- I remember the storm, it did scare us kids. The protocol during storms at school there was to sit on the floor of the hallways or to go down into the tunnels below the school, part of the U of M service tunnels—we used to sneak down in those, it was fun. As I recall Chris was telling people that a tornado destroyed his house.

Funniest thing I remember of the Guthes was playing croquet in their back yard with my younger brother, John, now long time VP of Ann Arbor Machine--, and Chris and his younger brother, Billy. Billy was acting up, so we held him down spread eagled on the ground and drove all the wickets into the ground over his arms and legs, pinning him to the ground. Then we said we would be back in one hour, and went into the front yard as he was yelling (not crying) for help—after a few minutes we rescued him.

-- Bob MacGregor

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