Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hot Topic: Earthquakes

THIS is what I lived through. Ok, I'm being sarcastic. Yes, I experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 but I was 106 miles from the epicenter. I wasn't driving on the Bay Bridge when it collapsed. I can recall that day vividly though.

I was in my room, doing my 5th grade math homework. My window was open. My sister was downstairs, sitting on the floor using a typewriter. (For you young people, a typewriter was like a computer with no screen. You just put the paper on a roller, typed and pulled the paper out. Did you make a mistake? Nice typewriters had white-out keys. Google it.) Our parents were at the mall shopping.

The lamp on my desk started shaking. I thought it was the wind coming through my open window but I quickly realized it was not the wind when my sister started yelling my name asking what was going on. She said the tall bookshelves we had downstairs were swaying from the walls. Ummm scary. Being Betty by The Book, even at a young age, I screamed down to her "GET UNDER SOMETHING AND COVER YOUR HEAD." I should have earned extra credit in school for remembering what to do during an earthquake. In California, we had drills during school for this type of thing. That's how we roll.

When the shaking stopped (no idea how long it went for. I was 10, it would have lasted 10 seconds and it would have felt like a week), our parents called from a payphone (Young people, a payphone is a phone that you deposit a quarter in to use, usually found in public places. There were no cell phones in 1989. I don't know how we ever survived) and instructed us to go sit outside on the sidewalk, away from the house. We walked outside, I'm sure I was crying and sat on the sidewalk sitting very close together. I recall thinking that perhaps we should sit in the middle of the street in case the house falls on top of us. But then a car could come in our cul-de-sac and hit us so we stayed on the sidewalk.

My parents got home and told us that they were in Copeland Sports (kids, its a sporting goods store) and the whole mall was swaying to and fro. We thought the bookshelves swaying was scary. No thanks. I think I was scared of the mall for a while. We watched the news and saw the damage done in San Francisco and surrounding areas.

To add insult to injury, the earthquake interrupted game 3 of the World Series, in which the awesome SF Giants were playing the icky Oakland A's at Candlestick Park. The earthquake shook up (no pun intended) the Giants so much, they never recovered and lost to the stupid A's. THEY WERE EXPERIENCING PTSD OKAY!!!!! THEY COULDN'T FOCUS!

Anywoo, that wraps up my earthquake experience. Living in Northern California, we experience small shakers every now and again. I actually think I felt one the other night but didn't read anything on the news. I hope all you East Coast folks won't be traumatized by this. And if you are, you can write a blog post about it in 22 years!!!

Can I just point out that since 1989, the A's have been in the playoffs 7 times with NO trips to the World Series while the Giants have been in the playoffs 5 times with TWO trips to the World Series including the title in 2010. SO THERE.


Patty said...

Oh, earthquakes. This has been a crazy 6 months. I think earthquakes are taking over the world.

I remember waves rolling through my kitchen floor as a kid in Loma Prieta, and that my dad drove over the viaduct section of 880 about a minute before it collapsed and the fun of waiting at home for hours for him to come home. Good times.

Morrigan said...

I remember that earth quake. We had just moved from CA to OH about 2 years prior. It was on my 7th birthday. We went to a japanese steak house with friends to celebrate. Came home and saw it on the news. My aunt was stuck in SF. And I so remember all the school drills for earthquakes. Hands behind head covering your neck.

The Borchert Family said...

the bookshelves almost came off the wall...I didn't want to have to clean up all those books!!!!!