I was 13 and my brother had a paper route in Shady Lane. I promised to help him deliver (papers) if he would take me to my first junior high dance. We were delivering opposite sides of the same street.
The earthquake started and I was trapped in between a metal fence and a car in the driveway. I got out of the driveway and my brother ran across the street and pushed me into a snow bank. We laid there and watched and listened.
The noise was unbelievable. The street lights were swaying like they were rubber, and the street looked like waves. Being raised in the church, I kept looking in the sky for Jesus to appear because I was certain it was the end of the world.
After it stopped, we made our way home. My parents and little sister were there. There wasn't much damage in our home. We spent the night huddled around a transistor radio with candles going and no heat.
Every time there was an aftershock, my mom would beg my dad to pack the car and for us to start driving to Pennsylvania. She thought we would make our getaway.
Our power was out for a few days, and my mom was worried about us having food. The morning after the quake, we went to Piggly Wiggly. The store was a disaster. There were still things from the shelves on the floor. It was covered with sawdust and it smelled.
A few days after the quake, my mom heard the news about her friend Mary "Bobbie" Rustigan's death and the Mead children's deaths, as well.* She was devastated.
It was amazing, though, how people came together and helped each other and offered emotional support. Every year, I relive the whole event. The memories are strong. That day instilled in me a terror and fear of quakes. I keep waiting for the big one to hit Seattle and pray it doesn't happen in my lifetime.
*Mary Rustigan, 44, was killed by falling concrete in the JCPenney building in Anchorage. Perry Mead, 12, and his 2-year-old brother Merrell were killed fleeing their Turnagain house.