Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Happy Earthquake Day!

Every year on February 9, I remember one particular February 9th, 1971 in the San Fernando Valley, in what has apparently been called the Sylmar Quake.

So I tip my hat to my brothers and cousins and all who were there that hair raising day.  I remember ... I was asleep.  I think it was just after 6:00am.  My bed was shaking and bouncing, much like it sometimes did in my nightmares.   So I tried to wake up.  I kept trying to open my eyes But it was soon clear that I was awake, and they were open.  Dad yelled from the bathroom, where he was shaving... "GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!!".   There were six of us boys.  Dad scooped a couple of us up.  I remember running out the door, down the steps, and down the walkway toward the street. 

It was an odd sensation, running while the ground was moving... bouncing, swaying.   He stuck us all out in the Mustang out on the curb.  We all fit -- the kids anyway. Four in the back, two in the front.  I guess to protect us from falling things.  The shaking lasted for about two minutes in reality, but it seemed much longer.  (The picture above is that same house some 37 or 38 years later.  There are the steps I ran down and the walk I walked out of.  Brother Jeff was out there recently for some training or a conference and swung by and took this photo.)

I had no idea what was going on, but I learned quickly.  "This is an earthquake".  Well, there was nothing subtle about it.  Even a 7 year old could get it.

That morning the Summers' next door came to eat breakfast at our house because their kitchen cabinets faced the opposite way ours did and they lost all of their dinnerware.  School was cancelled. 

Occasional aftershocks scared the living crud out of us kids.  They taipered off over the next several weeks from what I recall.  I poured over (the pictures) in magazine articles.   I could read some, I know... but over the years I read more and more about it.  I think that was the beginning of my fascination with Geology.

When I googled the quake because I couldn't remember that "Sylmar" bit, I ran across this interesting bit of trivia on a blog called Vinyl Mysteries

This guy is clearly more of a vinyl junkie than I was, and I thought I was bad.  I still have about 1,000 vinyl ablums.  I'd love to have this album ripped to MP3, just for a keepsake.

1 comment:

  1. Incidentally, I now DO have this vinyl album, and I have it ripped to MP3 as well.