MOORE — “Rummage sale — cheap.”
Tom Bridges put the sign up outside the home he had shared with his wife, Vicki, for nearly 20 years. Monday's tornado destroyed the couple's home and ruined most of their possessions.
On Thursday, the Army veteran picked through the rubble, looking for some of his wife's jewelry.
She was in Tulsa when the EF5 twister hit. It leveled the Bridges' home at 312 Stoneridge Drive and the homes of neighbors in the Hunter's Glen addition.
The sign drew the attention of an independent filmmaker, who stood in front of the Bridges' home interviewing those in the area. An out-of-state couple — in the neighborhood to help out — took a few pictures of it and stopped to chat with Bridges.
In front of the rubble, Bridges, 68, had organized some salvageable belongings — a few chairs, a nice blue cooking pot. The sign, those things, led some to ask:
Was the sign for real?
No, he said. The sign's a joke.
Rescue workers dug through rubble Monday to pull Bridges out of his collapsed home. An inner hallway is all that remained. He rode out the twister in the storm cellar.
About two hours later, he had an idea.
“The idea made me laugh inside. And you know, you need that,” he said. “It cheered me up just for a second. It will somebody else, too ... they'll get a laugh out of all this mess. We need that.”
The sign has captured a lot of attention.
“That thing has been photographed many times,” Bridges said. “It's gotten a few laughs here and there. You get it where you can, when you can to keep you going.”
He and his wife plan to rebuild in the same neighborhood in Moore.
His neighborhood is in splinters — why rebuild?
“I've heard people ask that for years. I have a perfect answer for that. You tell me where in this world you're going to move that they don't have some kind of trauma once in a while? Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, sinkholes — you tell me, where can you get away from that?”