True story. As we were preparing our first post-pandemic Texas Tornado issue, the Buddy production office was hit by an actual Texas “tornado.” A major spring storm hit Gainesville, traversing all the way down to Windom and Honey Grove. High-speed straight line winds of over 95 mph hit the towns, causing the equivalent damage of an F1 tornado, or a level 2 hurricane. Thousands of trees were downed, and hundreds of buildings were damaged.
The Buddy production offices had a chimney collapse through the roof, with many of its 127-year-old windows literally exploding inside the house, and severe winds causing over $100,000 in damage. In the moment, the office looked like a scene out of Poltergeist, with doors and windows slamming, glass shards flying, rain pouring in through the ceiling, and thick plumes of ash rising through the air. One of our biggest concerns was that the entire Buddy archive of back issues was stored at the location, but fortunately did not get damaged in the storm.
If one were to believe in the spiritual and metaphysical, it was almost as if our late founder Stoney Burns was hazing the newest publisher for his own amusement, or perhaps lighting additional fires under his ass to protect the legacy of the magazine. And if you don’t believe in the otherworldly, it was just a very unfortunate circumstance that almost destroyed the entire historic Buddy archive for the ages.
Though the digitization process of Buddy back issues had already begun (over 240 out of over 550 issues have been scanned), the tornado has made us step up our efforts to preserve our history, and give this content a new life online. But you can put a bow on this issue – Buddy has survived a pandemic, and now an actual tornado. Buddy Fall 2022 is a bona-fide Texas Tornado edition in this world, or any other.