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Tornado-blown blanket recovered

By Kay S. Pedrotti When Marty and Patti Gunter lost their home, and Marty’s parents, in last year’s tornado, it was very hard to find anything to be glad about. Now they have been given back something priceless — a blanket made from a photo of Marty and Patti with their two dogs, Dixie and Daisy. It’s especially valuable, Patti said, because Dixie died just before the tornado. Daisy survived the storm but was found across Grove Street in a van; she apparently had jumped through a blown-out window and suffered cuts that required vet treatment, Patti said. Bob Schumacher of Macon, a forestry consultant working for Edwards Holding LLP, was assessing timber losses when he found the blanket hanging about six feet up in a tree about 500 yards east of Veterans Parkway, north of the Chevron station at Atlanta Road. ’It was the only thing I found in four days of walking the land that might have been of value to someone,’ Schumacher said. ‘When I saw the pictures, I knew it needed to be returned to the owners.’ He took it to the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Brad White said he hoped The Herald Gazette would help identify the owners — ‘it definitely looked like something displaced by the tornado’ — and a photo of the afghan-style blanket was posted on The Herald Gazette website Tuesday. Within minutes, Marty’s uncle Dan Gunter called to tell the staff that the blanket belonged to Marty and Patti. Marty said Patti picked up the blanket as soon as she could ‘because she was so excited about getting it back.’ Patti added, ‘It’s actually in pretty good shape for having been out in the weather so long. It has a small hole in it, but the colors have not faded much at all.’ She and Marty are the guardians of Chloe Gunter, adopted child of Paul and Ellen Gunter, who were killed in the storm. ’I’d like to thank the man who recovered the blanket and brought it back,’ said Patti. ‘We have gotten a few good things after the storm. Chloe is one of them, and now we have our blanket back with both dogs on it. We found out how many people in Lamar County cared about our family, especially those who helped clear the property while Marty and I were involved in the funeral preparations for Paul and Ellen. It’s something we’ll never forget, but we have a new house now off Highway 41 toward Forsyth, and Chloe has been a joy. We are very grateful for everything.’

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