On Friday, May 4, 2007 just before 10 p.m., Greensburg, Kansas (pop. 1500) was hit by the most powerful tornado in recorded history. The wedge cloud was 1.7 miles wide and left a 22-mile-long path of destruction that leveled the town. Having held claim to the world's largest hand-dug well and the world's largest meteorite; Greensburg was also now the unfortunate site of the world's largest tornado.
Two months later, Greensburg celebrated the 4th of July with an old-fashion eastern North Carolina style pig-picking, compliments of PigMasters and friends.
It all came about when PigMaster's Davis North, Wayland Cooke and Kevin Morse learned that after the town's near total destruction many of its citizens left to find employment and shelter. North, Cooke, and Morse wanted to throw a pig picking and try and get the towns people back together. Everyone quickly got onboard and started planning. With Greensburg's town folk now living elsewhere and nearly all of its businesses closed the planning and logistics took and great effort. Our boys enlisting the help of US Congressman Howard Coble, NC State Senator Kay Hagan, Murphy Brown pork producers, Theresa Kostrazewa, and others, then joined up with Susan Moneypenny of Clear Channel Radio (a UNC grad.) and Larry Burke (born in Greensburg) of Wichita. What started out as a simple small town pig-picking soon grew into an full-blown Independence Day extravaganza, complete with moonwalks and fireworks.
So, the PigMasters drove to Kansas and, from the rubble, built a giant cinderblock cooker. Then they cooked 10 pigs (1300 pounds of pork), 250 lbs of potatoes, 250 lbs of green beans and 230 lbs of coleslaw - plenty of food for the one-thousand people they were told might come to eat all they wanted - however about fifteen-hundred towns folks and past residents showed up. Nevertheless, everyone was served. Many who came to celebrate were coming back to Greensburg for the first time since the tornado and emotions ran high. The plan to bring Greensburg residents back home for the holiday turned out to be hugely successful and seeing Greensburg's residents come back together on July 4th was, for us, indescribable.
It was a great time and a wonderful experience.
We thank all our sponsors, without whom the trip would not have been possible. Their names include: Sam's Club; Kissin' Country 102.1 FM; Murphy-Brown, LLC; Capitol Advantage Associates, Inc.; Blackwater USA; Red Oak Brewery; Copper Oven Cafe' ; Crop Productions Services; Panera Bread; Smith Moore, LLP; Adventure RV & Truck Center; Western Brake & Gear, Inc; Cheerwine; Pepsi; TeeShirtMan; BRZoom; Bailey's Body Shop; Winan's Bulk Oil; and the many individuals who generously gave their support, financially and otherwise.
The EF-5 Tornado the hit Greensburg, KS
It was the largest tornado in history
The Greensburg, Kansas Photo Album (click to enlarge)