Thinking about the Baldwin Hills dam got me to thinking about another disaster that we all lived through. The February 9, 1971 Sylmar earthquake. Most, if not all of us, were at Orville Wright when it happened. It happened at 6:01 in the morning. What is it with earthquakes occurring in the morning? Mother Nature’s wakeup call! I remember laying in bed and hearing this unGodly roaring sound, and suddenly the whole house started shaking. I remember the house shaking and next think I knew I was on the floor looking up and my dog was laying on the bed looking down at me. I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared! I don’t think any of us had been through an earthquake until then. I remember asking my grandmother what that was and she said it was an earthquake and a bad one. Is there such a thing as a good one????? I think we all ended up getting a couple of days off from school so they could check for damage. Our house didn’t have any damage and nothing broke. I heard something about most of Westchester being built on granite or some such thing and that’s why we didn’t have any damage. I remember seeing the damage on tv, such as the overpasses coming down, which they did again during the Northridge quake. Plus they were really worried about the Van Norman dam might let go. And let’s not forget about the “earthquake resistant” buildings at Olive View Hospital. What happened? They all collapsed! I think that one was a 6 and something on the Richter scale. At that time it was the worst earthquake since the Long Beach earthquake of 1933. And we won’t even go into the Northridge quake!
Funny story. About 4 months after the kids and I got out here to New England, the apartment building we were in shook. Our roommates said it was the neighbor downstairs slamming her door. I said “Like hell, that was an earthquake”. Well, we turned on the news and guess what? I was right!! It was like a 3 or less, so no biggie. Told our roommates I know my earthquakes! I jokingly say that Mother Nature wanted to remind me what we were leaving behind! Either that, or earthquakes followed us!