I I took this picture on the second day of work in Joplin.  We met a man at a pile of broken lumber, twisted trees, insulation and possessions.  Three weeks ago it had been his home.  Our mission: find baby pictures.  The tenant’s son died (not in the tornado) at nine months old.  The father had found the urn.  We were searching for pictures and personal affects so that the parents would have something to remember their son by.  These were his son’s shoes.  They had made their way out of a box and on top of the rubble.  It took four hours, seven volunteers and one crane (to remove two trees), but we found three pictures, these shoes and a copy of the newspaper with his son’s obituary.  The father  celebrated.  I hid my tears.

Joplin, MO