Wednesday, August 24, 2011


For some strange reason, when my spiritual brother Gary at Long Island, NY, FB'd re: the earthquake on the east coast, I suddenly realized that even with several earthquakes I've been involved in on the 3 West coast states, 1948 to 1974 -- I "saw" the one that blew my mind.

Here's the story.

I was 19 years old, living and working in Seattle. It was almost exactly 8:30 AM. During the spreading of the earthquake tremors, rumbles, and roars, I was on a cable car on my way to work downtown, and a few blocks from the office building. I was reading a book, Tom Jones, and not looking around at all. Then the bouncing of the cable car got my attention, and annoyed, I thought, LOUDLY, as I began to look up, "What is that driver doing??" Then I saw that he had stopped driving, was in big-eyed panic, and as I looked around I could see the street bouncing, business windows waving and weaving, people running down the middle of the street, and skyscrapers swaying back and forth, crisscrossing each other. The final result, besides piles of damage, three people were killed by falling debris; others died from heart attacks. It was one scary stretch of time, believe me.

The only funny bit? My friend/coworker Connie was being dropped off by her boyfriend in front of the building, and he was giving her a kiss goodbye, exactly when the earthquake hit. He said, "WOW, that was one exciting kiss. "

Later, my boss let me call my parents in Tacoma -- I knew Mom was terrified of earthquakes, and I was afraid she'd have jumped out of the upstairs bedroom window from a fear reaction. My Dad said he and Mom had done OK. Then he told me that my 6-year old sister, Kristan, who was sitting cross-legged on the living room floor while watching cartoons when it hit, froze in her position and started screaming. When Dad got to her to get her out of the house, and picked her up, her back against his chest, she remained in a stiff, sitting, cross-legged, screaming body as he carried her out.

Lived through a few smallish ones in California from 1969 to 1974 in the Bay Area. Got "rattled", pictures bouncing, dishes sliding, etc., but nothing, NOTHING anywhere similar to that one in 1965.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to say the least! We were in a fairly strong one when we arrived in Japan several years ago to visit our military kids. We were so exhausted, we slept through it!

Anonymous said...

Joanne - I was at McChord - Tacoma - was that the one that hit Alaska the worse, too - Or was that one in 64 - I think it was in the month of April - could be wrong. Nothing for us in MA yesteday- I was driving - didn't know anything about it until I heard it on the radio -- later

Beth said...

I've not been in one and really hope that's an experience I get to pass on! Wow! To have tall buildings swaying would be quite frightening!

S. Etole said...

I think I'll settle for reading about them!