Photographer returns to Weeping Mary network after close to pass over with tornado


Until the April 13 tornadoes in Cherokee County, many humans had never heard of the Weeping Mary network.

“The quote was, ‘that is where we stay, this is all we’ve got,’” nearby photographer O. Rufus Lovett said.

Lovett, who lives in Longview, says the ones are the phrases that came to mind when he heard that a twister had touched down near the small unincorporated network.

“I became very worried, of the path,” Lovett stated.

Concerned due to the fact Weeping Mary holds a special place in Lovett’s coronary heart. What commenced out as mission in the Nineties for a newspaper, ended up being a published photo essay of a rural African American community that tells a familiar tale of the human circumstance.


“This changed into on the porch proper outdoor the church,” Lovett stated pointing to a photo of a bit girl’s footwear. “I simply captured the everyday lifestyles and routine of these human beings dwelling within the USA.”

And on the Easter Sunday after the twister, Lovett returned to Weeping Mary. He talked about that the community became spared, with most harm close to the Caddo Indian Mounds Historic Site.

“It didn’t contact down in the flat,” Lovett stated.

As for the name of the community, there’s some debate. Lovett says the most famous story at the back of the name is what he calls the ‘porch lore.’

“There becomes an African American woman who was a belongings proprietor on this then Freedom Colony,” Lovett said. “And she was tricked out of promoting her land to a person she would have rather now not bought to. She has become distraught and she or he wept and wept. The community kinda took on the call after her.”

Over the years, things have modified in Weeping Mary. Many of the children in Lovett’s photographs aren’t so little anymore.

“Her granddaughters have children in their very own gambling on the equal porch,” he stated pointing to one in every of his original pix.

But one aspect remains steady: that unique component Lovett captured all the one’s years in the past.

“It’s a stunning, simple life,” Lovett said.