John and Nancy Barchard, then 38 and 35, were living on Oakwood Drive in Crystal Lake, when the Palm Sunday tornado struck the city on April 11, 1965. They didn’t even know the tornado had hit until John Barchard went out to take their son to a friend’s. Nancy’s parents lived in the Coventry subdivision, so they went down to check on her parents. Her father owned Bill’s Grill, which is where Andy’s Restaurant is now, and escaped harm because he was at the restaurant. Nancy recalls working at Bill’s Grill, which her family kept open all night, to serve all the workers.
Nancy: “My dad had been sitting in the chair in the basement of his house in Coventry, and he had left to go to the restaurant and a two-by-four went through his chair after he left. So he was very lucky.”
For more videos on the Palm Sunday tornado, click here.