Richard Hawkins was 13-years-old, homesteading with his family in a log cabin in Ninilchik.
This is his Good Friday Earthquake experience from his words:
There was my mother, brother and me. My brother is four years older than me. We were home. We had a living room, dining room and kitchen with a wood stove in the center. Mom was cooking dinner, using the propane for the stove. My brother was in the bedroom doing homework, I practicing playing piano. There was a lamp on the piano. I’d just sat down to practice.
Suddenly, the lights went out, but that’s not unusual. My first thought was, ‘I can’t practice piano.’ Then I felt the building start to shake. It’s standard procedure to head to the door frame. Mom and I went to the front door, my brother stood in the bedroom door.
Everything just kept shaking and didn’t stop. Things were cooking on the stove. I saw the chimney to the wood stove fall down and collapse. Luckily, we didn’t have fire in the wood stove. Then the piano I was on started moving across the floor.
We realized it was getting worse than better. My brother opted to turn the burners off on the stove. He then came over to the front door where mom and I were. By this time, we were hanging on.
Just as soon as Chuck (my brother) got to the front door, the big floor-to-ceiling bookcase collapsed; fell down right where he was few seconds before.
I stood hanging on to the wood frame. Our German shepherd was going back and forth, not knowing what to do. The front door was swinging back and forth.
I got hysterical and started laughing. My brother reached over and gave me a slap. After that we just hung on.
It finally subsided. We started collecting our thoughts. We had neighbors a quarter-mile away. They had five little kids. We had phone service with them: There were two phones with a crank handle, and wire ran between their house and ours.
We called to make sure the neighbors were OK, turned off everything at the house and closed up as best we could.
We heard rumors that night about tsunamis. We felt aftershocks.
Luckily, we had a poured concrete basement. The logs hadn’t cracked or broken. There was no actual damage to the house, but we did lose the well.
My brother still has the homestead and homestead property.