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Explosion in West Texas, near Waco

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  • Explosion in West Texas, near Waco

    Over the past few days I have had a few emails via my website and the forum, as well as phone calls concerning the recent explosion in West Texas, which is located near Waco Texas, where I live. Yes I heard it but initial thought it was a deep thunder or one of the rocket engine firings from the MacGregor TX Space-X facility about 10 miles away. (they test rocket engines there) As you may imagine the local Waco Television Stations are pretty much locked into hour by hour coverage. West is a small town about 18 miles north of Waco, and many people live in West and work in Waco. Several of the teachers who teach at my wife's school live in west. Her principals house was completely demolished, as were several of the classroom teachers homes and their relatives. About five blocks of homes and buildings surrounding that fertilizer storage facility were pretty much blown apart or burned beyond repair. My grandchildren live on the other side of the West and their house was shaken, pictures came off the wall, but no visible structural damage. Their schools were not so lucky and they will be going to other surrounding school districts for a while, I expect the rest of the year from the looks of the middle school. Many of their friends homes were demolished or collapsed, and since it is a small, close knit community, most will know all of the residents who died. At this time the names of many are being witheld as several will take more extensive forensics to determine their identities.

    There is only one fatality at the moment I am certain of, for his name has been released and the family has confirmed his identity. Sadly it is the father of my grandson's very close friend. He will be celebrated as a first responder hero, volunteer firefighter, Buck Uptmor

    I knew this man for the past five years as more of an acquaintance, for our visits were pretty much seasonal around sports. His son and my grandson played football together since 2008. He was involved with them as a mentor and coach, until formal school programs and coaches take over, and then we were side line buddies. He was a welder, fence maker by trade, not given to "video" or technology, so I would video the football games that I attended when the kids played football. I have a great deal of footage of "our kids" playing over the past five years, but sadly had only give him about one year of it and then editing time slipped away. I will spend hours now editing the footage of the games, and his presence on the sidelines that I sometimes captured and give it to his son, Hunter, sometime after the funeral. His son is a great kid, a bit short of stature, but amazingly fast. Very polite and well behaved from what I've heard. I hope he can turn away from the constant replaying of the explosion that killed his father. I'm told he was very close to the blast when it happened, as they were fighting the initial fire for about 20 minutes before the explosion occured.

    So the world will remember and call William "Buck" Uptmor jr. a hero for his efforts to fight this fire., and I do admire him for that but I never saw him in that light, or knew he ever did, but I will call him a hero for the life I saw him live, showing up everyday on the field, before practice and after, helping shape the lives of kids on a daily basis, every hour, every day, as well as welding and mending the fences of those who needed the help but could least afford it. I've posted a video capture pics below. Sorry I have not found any of him from the front.

    We all see tragic or catastrophic news events from around the world everyday, but when you personally know the names and people involved, it takes on a whole new meaning.
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    Last edited by Speedbag; 04-22-2013, 12:56 PM.
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  • #2
    Just tragic...and a true hero he is. More news coming in this morning about the great losses the town of West, TX has suffered.

    This hits home for me too, as I have a daughter who is just finishing her Masters at Boston University & Harvard and lives in Boston. She was right up the street from the marathon bombings and thank God she and her friends are fine....but last year, she was watching at the finish line. (really scary as a Father) I'll be attending her graduation the middle of next month.

    Now more news this morning...a large section of Boston (including where she lives) is shut down. I don't think I'll be able to sleep until they've found those responsible and any others wanting to hurt people in that city.

    All I can say.... crazy world we live in these days.
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    • #3
      Glad to see my friend Buck, along with the others who died, made the NY times.

      RIP, my friend. I wish I had known him better.
      Last edited by Speedbag; 04-29-2013, 02:05 AM.
      Speed Bag

      Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
      *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
      The Quest Continues...
      Onward to SpeedB.A.G. X! Summer 2019

      THE 10th Year Reunion!

      sigpic

      The Art of the Bag

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      • #4
        they are true heros...

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