Friday, October 17, 2014

25 years: Earthquake of '89

25 years ago today a young Tommy was rushing through his home work, both my parents were home and we were getting ready to watch The Giants vs. The A's in the World Series!!! And that's when the ground started to shake. "Mom", I said as she was standing in the doorway. "it's okay, just a little earthquake" and then when it DIDN'T STOP shaking, I ran to the doorway. As I did this, the glass cabinet I was sitting infront of collapsed on the chair I was sitting in seconds before. One more moments hesitation and I'd have been hurt badly. I had a small cut on my leg from shattered glass but otherwise we were okay. We were lucky. There wasn't any power for awhile and once it came back we saw our city in ruins. The seemingly endless, depressing aftershocks... The stories of people trapped in the collapsed bay bridge .., they pulled a guy named Buck Helm out of the bridge...Alive... It gave the city hope... Sadly, he did live long after that... Images of houses in the Marina being help up by wooden planks for people to get out of their  homes as the houses were literally sinking into the ground...
Even as The storyteller I am today, I don't think I could've made stuff like this up. This was real life. And watching the news as an 8 ( about to be 9) year old, it was scary. I didn't go to school for a week. And then when the World Series resumed, Oakland kicked SF ass. UGGGH.
I was lucky though, at the time many people in my family were living on the same block and nobody was really hurt. We were able to be together. Many families weren't.
If you were too young to remember the quake of '89, it's hard to fully capture how crazy the whole thing was... You can read about it or watch videos... Watch the "earthquake" episode of "Full House"...  But I was there, actually in it...and the memories of that day have stayed with me, vivid, as the day they happend. I suspect they always will.

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