Earthquakes and Baseball {1989}


Is it the first of November already?
Wow, October just flew by.
You all know the drill.
Link up your favorite memories of 1989.
Want to know what I remember best about 1989?
The Loma Prieta Earthquake.
I was in 6th grade.
The Giants were playing the A's in the World Series.
My dad and I had just settled at home to watch the series.
I was upstairs in our condo, and dad was downstairs.
In that condo, you couldn't shut the door without the whole condo shaking.
That's why I thought my dad had slammed the door.
I thought, "Where is he going? The games gonna start."
Suddenly the TV went blank,
and the real shaking began.

via Google Images
In California they teach you to go under a table or in a doorway at birth.
This idea alluded me now.
I remember my dad yelling for me to come down the stairs.
It was like trying to walk on a rope bridge.
He met me half way and carried me out to the curb.
He sat me there, and said he was going to move our car,
in case the building fell.
Could that even happen?
Then, I swear I will never forget,
the ground started moving again...
and the pavement looked like waves.
My mom was still at work and that day her 15 minute commute took 45.
She said all the tiles in the ceilings in her building fell.
She said all of the lights were out in the entire town.
From our cars, we listened to KNBR for updates.
KNBR was supposed to be calling the World Series.
That day, it gave us the news.
As a result of the 7.1 earthquake, we were out of power for 2 days.
We stayed with my grandparents since they had a generator and a gas oven.
My aunts, uncles, and cousins stayed too.
Being kids, we thought it was fun.
I was and still am a news junkie, so I was glued to the TV.
We watched non-stop coverage.
We saw the collapsed bay bridge.
We the Marina District burn.
We saw a completely destroyed downtown Santa Cruz.

via Google Images

It was crazy.
We slept at Grandma and Grandpas for four days.
Mom was afraid to go home to our two story condo.
When we did, the three of us camped out in the living room.
And wouldn't you know a 5.0 aftershock hit that night.
I remember my dad throwing his arm around both my mom and I.
We just stayed there in a bear hug until the shaking stopped.
I don't think any of us slept soundly for a few months.
Just as life went on, so did the World Series.
The Giants didn't win the series that year.
They wouldn't win until 2010.
They also won this year.
When they won, the eleven year old in me
 thought about the 1989 Earthquake.



  1. Oh wow, I cannot even imagine going through an Earthquake! I was getting nervous just reading about your description of the roads buckling. I remember watching news coverage, about the bridge when all that happened. It was so sad, and I remember thinking, "Give me a hurricane over an earthquake any day of the week."

  2. That is straight craziness and I'm sure you were so scared. No wonder it's such a huge memory for you. I'm sure you will never forget it. xoxo

  3. Scary earthquake! Apparently you're not supposed to go outside in an earthquake because more people die from falling debris than anything else.

    1. You're right. You're not, but I think my dad was on auto pilot. I think he was thinking that our condo was going to collapse, and it would be better if we were on the grass. When I asked him about it later he said he wasn't thinking about anything but keeping us from being buried. Earthquake proto call is under a table or in a doorway.

  4. This is a powerful post. Crazy how memories are linked like that.
    I lived in Washington for four years, but never had to go through a severe earthquake.

  5. I remember that earthquake. I was at the babysitter's house, and they took us all out onto the front lawn. The 4 year old me remembers watching the P-waves roll down the street. I wasn't scared then, but I probably should have been.

  6. Wow, I can't imagine. The closest I've been to an earthquake was last year one happened in Washington D.C. and we felt it slightly in NC...which is kind of crazy.