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1Day Ranch Big Build: Matt and his dog Molly

Everyone I met during the New York Says Thank You barn raising project at 1 Day Ranch had their own unique story to tell.

I told my editors that I could have written enough to fill the paper with their stories — all of them inspirational.

Just the fact that most of the volunteers helping to build Maeghan Hadley’s new 1 Day Ranch barn had had their own lives upended by disasters was compelling enough.

Hadley’s original barn had been damaged by a May 2013 tornado. Most of the men and women who worked Sept. 4-7 to help build her a new barn had empathy for her because they, too, had been in similar circumstances at one time.

One of the people I met while I was out at the barn raising event was Matt Deighton of Greenburg, Kan.

He was chatty and cheerful and we spoke at length while I waited to interview Hadley.

Deighton told me that he was part of the Big Build effort in Bethel Acres because he was paying it forward. He had been helped in similar fashion after his home was destroyed by a tornado in 2005 in Greenburg.

Deighton said his beloved dog Molly (pictured together)survived by his side and helped him get through the difficult days ahead.

He said after the tornado, he began traveling with Molly to speak to groups, especially children, to encourage them in the aftermath of disasters like the tornado he survived.

Deighton wrote a children’s book about the experiences he and Molly shared during  the storm. He hopes that it will be of comfort to children and their families trying rebuild their lives after tornadic winds wreak havoc on their communities.

Sadly, Molly has died, Deighton told me.

But he said her last public engagement was in Moore with a group of children who survived a May 2013 tornado that destroyed their school.

Deighton said his canine friend Molly will live on through his book “Molly and the Tornado.”

It seems a fitting tribute to his beloved pet who helped him get through one of the most horrific times of his life.

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

 

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Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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