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Published on Feb 19, 2013
The year was 1998 and earlier that year I met legendary Storm Chaser Jeff Piotrowski, however, I didn't know that he was know for "getting up close and personal" to one of the most violent forms of mother nature. As a matter of fact, prior to this chase I had met him only a handful of times to have dinner and get to know one another. So on this first chase, I wasn't familiar with his storm chasing vehicle and when he was taping a tornado and it was close...really close...and the roar was crazy loud...I decided to get back in the vehicle...and accidentally locked him out. I started hitting every button I could find to get him back in that suv and get us the heck out of there. It is crazy how scary it was but yet, to me how extraordinarily beautiful at the same time...when Jeff finally got back into the car, I quickly grabbed the camera from him and began taping out of the passenger window. Fast forward 15 years later...I've seen hundreds of tornadoes, EF-0 to the incomprehensible EF-5 (several). Jeff was on a talk show a couple of years after this shot and showed this kind of embarrassing footage of me locking him out of the car...When the footage aired the audience roared with laughter and the host asked Jeff "if he ever went out with that girl again" and he said "Well, as a matter of fact, I married her" and the audience went wild with applause. Let's just say...I've made darn sure to NEVER ever lock Jeff out of the vehicle again.