"Timex Baby" Graduates High School

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

A baby who once "took a lickin' and kept on tickin'", and was featured in a Timex watch ad for it, has reached the legal age of adulthood. 18-year-old Tanner Moody graduated Clarkdale High School Friday.

But his survival as a newborn Mar. 10, 1992, when a devastating tornado ripped through Lauderdale County, destroying his home and claiming three lives, was and is viewed as a miracle.

"We have just come so far, and you know, it's been rough but it was so worth it," said Tanner's mother, Laura Sanchez.

On that morning, a tornado ripped through the Zero community, flipping the family's mobile home and throwing the family of four in the debris-filled yard. Everyone was accounted for except for Tanner. After 45 minutes of searching, the baby's cries led them to a pine tree where Tanner was found, hanging by his nightshirt, ten feet above ground.

"When that happened, we didn't hear anything except the rumble of the tornado and the trailer disintegrating up under us," said Tanner's father, Keith Moody, of the night the tornado hit.

"When that was going on that night, I was so worried that we wouldn't find him, or that something had happened to him," said Sanchez. "I hoped against all hope that he was O.K. and God answered my prayers."

Tanner said he feels the weight of this accomplishment. He says he thinks about what could have happened that morning.

"What would happen if I wasn't here? Where would my parents be? What would they be going through?" said Tanner. "It's a great feeling just to be here."

"It's God's will for him to make it here for this day, and there is no telling for the future," said his dad.

And like the other members of Clarkdale's Class of 2010, Tanner Moody has his life ahead of him. He plans to attend college and wants to continue playing soccer, but most of all, he's just happy to be here.

The 1992 tornado was one of the most significant in Mississippi history. The F3 hit about 1 a.m. Three people died in Lauderdale County as a result. Fifty-seven people were injured.

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