Grand Rivers - Surviving the Storm Together

Kim Kraemer

February 4, 2009
I’m back! My power is back on after nine days. I love electricity.

The ice storm was beyond description. We lost power. We lost water. We lost phones. What we did not lose was the spirit of this community.

The morning after the ice storm, Jan and Sy Quarles of Mr. BBQ’s Restaurant started serving free hot meals out of the restaurant. They lost power just like everyone else and they could have stayed home and tried to keep warm or left town but they didn't. They were there every single day at 7:00 am. They cooked and kept the restaurant warm with the gas ranges. For the first five days they served three meals a day.
After the Senior Center started serving hot dinners, they still did breakfast and lunch each day. I’m talking bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and old fashion home cooked specials for lunch and dinner. Jan and Sy are tireless in their effort to help others as are many of our citizens during this trying time. Cindy, Cozette, Martha and Mary Ann all helped with the cooking. Dianne, Sara and Mark delivered hot meals to those that could not get out. Patti’s made food donations. Emily opened the IGA for supplies.

Our volunteer fire department was also quick to respond. They have a shelter set up in the Senior/Community Center and have worked around the clock facing the challenges of the situation. They are also serving hot dinners each night.

Our city workers are Amazing. Joe, Jeff, Brandon, Bill, and T.F. were quick to respond and they all worked hard to clear the roads, restore the water, and keep our sewer plant running.

Neighbors checked on neighbors. Friends checked on friends.

Words cannot express my gratitude to those that stepped up and helped out during this trying time. Repair and clean up continues but all of my friends and family are safe. Many in Western Kentucky are still without power and my heart goes out to them. I wish this world had a Mr. BBQ and a Jan and Sy Quarles in every town.

Editor's Note: Thank you, Kim, for allowing me to copy your words and pictures. Grand Rivers pulled together as many other communities. Mr. Bar B-Q and the Mrs. and Ms BBQ's who helped out deserve a serious attaboy/girl for their community spirit.  GR is earning its kudos as a great place to be that it earned in last year's Southern Living poll.

More about what's happening in at Grand Rivers at their website . There are free movies and country pickin and grinnin' and rising country stars, sailing lessons on the way and of course, food, glorious food.