Barbara Bowen
Barbara%20Bowen.jpg

EARTHQUAKE —California 1932

6.8 on the Richter scale as Father, my sister and I sat on the floor working a jigsaw — Mother was in the kitchen making celery soup for supper. We got out the front door on our bottoms because we couldn’t stand and all met in the back garden, including our brother roller-skating back from digging a hole with friends. “Gee, Ma, wasn’t it a beaut”, he cried out.

Father went back into the house after 15 minutes and brought out the soup (which had not been shaken off the stove!). I guess that was what Snubs our bull terrier had for his supper too. He drove us to an open field where we would be safe in case more houses fell in after-shocks. Then mother drove him to the dock where the captain’s gig was waiting to take him to his ship, a 6-inch light cruiser. He dispatched some of the crew ashore to help with getting people out of the rubble and with medical help where needed. About one hundred people had been killed.

Mother drove us back to the field and she, we three kids and Snubs settled down for the night only to be roused by a nut who raced by shouting “Tidal wave! Tidal wave!” (false alarm) but Mother had quickly driven to higher ground believing him. How we did all this in a pre-cellphone era I don’t remember, but we wound up the following night staying with friends in Pasadena.

Barbara Bowen
Southbury, CT 2012

sclogo.png

More Story Chips from Barbara Bowen

In the land that lies beyond...

In the Land That Lies Beyond Erzerum and Trebizond Lived a robber, Rushan Beg As we crossed the 10,000 foot range from Trebizond, we saw abundant golden rhododendrons such as Xenophon saw when he cried out “Thalassa!” (the sea, the sea!) coming the other way. Our next major stop was at militarized...

sclogo.png

A Glimpse of the Minotaur

Fallen in love with the legends of ancient Greece and living Rome, I hopped over to Athens. June 1967 was after the military takeover by a very nasty lot of Greek colonels and the imminent threat of yet another Arab-Israeli war. But I went anyway, determined to actually see the Palace of Knossos...

sclogo.png

Landing On Jones Beach In A Snow Storm

As flight weather forecaster for American Airlines at LaGuardia Field, I was working the midnight-to-8 shift of a January night in 1946. I had to reckon with a storm center in North Carolina which had been moving steadily eastwards and showed no sign of changing course, with its associated...

sclogo.png

Add your story to this page!

Comment on this Story

Add a New Comment

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License