Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thirty Years ~ Were We Ever This Young ?

The top picture is of Mt. St. Helens taken in the mid 1950's .
Up until 30 years ago today , it looked just like that , picture postcard ( there is a phrase for all of us baby le boom booms) perfect...all that 1970's and 1980's warm fuzzy granola bullshit that we were so " in tune " with.
The middle photo is very recent..yep...she's active again. If you have lived on the Left Coast as I did , you got used to the talk of plates shifting and seismic activity. It was just the way it was, much like having to deal with hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast or the Snohomish Pass being closed for weather ...ie. ice and snow.
See Sistah..a local reference , just for you .
The bottom photo is one of the series of actual eruption photos.
I lived through this day in Pullman.
It was a quiet Sunday .
Strangely quiet.
As the sky got darker , it was if the sounds outside of my tiny apartments open windows were suddenly turned off , one by one.
No birds...no dogs ...just a silence that really was quite eerie .
Then the ash began to fall.
I remember thinking that I have finally lost my mind, it can't possibly snow in the middle of May. The semester is winding down and the entire staff at WSU are eager to see the lil twerps get the hell out of town for a bit so we can have some peace and quiet .
I seem to remember the Civil Defense horn going off , and since I worked for Campus Communications , I knew that I had to haul ass on foot up the hill to the office. Damn Dotty for drilling it in to our heads...lol.
Actually, in the late 1970's and early 1980's , there was enough strife on campus that you got used to lock down mode.
Bomb threat in dorms..okay...someone is pissed about approaching finals.
National Jehovah Nova convention /convocation on campus...run to Dizzy's I Grabs It All before they run out of beer and condoms.....again.....check .
Somehow, we knew this was different.
We didn't have time to think about anything...we were too young to really be scared.
Phones ringing off the walls...people in pure panic because a lot of students were not from the area and their folks only had spotty at best news .
Over and over again.....if people could get through..." No Sir or Ma'am , I don't know if ( insert your loved ones name here ) is hurt or not. I am sure they will call you as soon as they can.
Remember this is pre voice mail, pre cell phones, pre e mail....the friggan Dark Ages.
I can only imagine what the parents were feeling.
We did the best we could with what we had.
My own mother was panic stricken , but even in her usual haze she knew that she couldn't do a hell of a lot from California.
In the old office , it was one of those old step downs where you went down a few stairs to get into the office. Campus PD and the Fire Dept were in the same location , but the switchboard didn't have any windows save the small one in Dotty's office. We lost sense of time fairly quickly and had no idea what was going on. Eventually we would all have to wear the masks and get used being casual about standing in our underwear..pray God we wore some that day ...and hosing off the ash off of our clothes and our hair , because once it combined with water ..it was worse than quick dry cement. Heh...we were young ( and thinner - wink) and really not all that concerned...being all hip and cool and so on.
The county cops...bright lads protecting Colfax and the greater Paloose finally realized that the ash was the reason that the engines blew...no air filter created at the time could stop it..
Shazaam....panty hose to the rescue.
And of course...my personal luck was just so supper cool tons of fun in tact....
I had given my notice .
Despite the best efforts of Sistah and Double O Mullet...I was going back to Walla Walla to see if in a complete moment of shear I have lost mah mind...I wanted to make the biggest mistake on God's Green Earth and resume/continue my marriage.
We had in fact just taken the damned drapes to the cleaners...remember Sistah....and had the paint to repaint the apt so I could get my deposit back...and I was in panic mode...no savings, no job...and no chance of a do over from Dotty if I went and said.. "Oopsie....just kidding....can I retract the letter of resignation.."?
The look on her face would have been priceless.
Thirty years.
Yes Sistah...I still have the earrings..lol .
Suffice to say...two years later...I packed yet again and headed down here.
Don't think I'm leaving any time soon.
Have a great week.
Aunty Pol
And I have no idea why the print color changed when I posted this...oh well...no biggie


HubbleSpacePaws said...

Ummmmm... it's wonderful Blogger on the font color change. It likes to change fonts on me. *sigh*

Nahhh, can't be... no, really... 30 years?? Geeze, we're OLD! I don't feel old. Do you feel old? Wait a minute... I guess I AM old when new auditors walk in and I think, "They're just babies."

Yeah, we were that young. Wasn't it yesterday, about a zillion years ago?

one of all said...

oh! God bless you for writing such a nice post i really enjoyed...