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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quaking Over Earthquakes

18th February 2012
Dear Cassi,

One of the events of my youth where over reaction was an issue was an earthquake. I believe this was the Whittier Narrows quake that claimed eight lives on October first of 1987.

I will grant that the loss of so many in an earthquake is rare, but the likelihood that there would be another quake short to follow was low.
Still, when I arrived at school the next day class had been canceled and we, the children, spent the day in the playground for fear of aftershock. This precaution after I had been told by the principal that the school buildings were of a construction that was safe in these situations.
It was the prerogative of our teachers that the disaster was so a danger that our education could be halted. They only kept us for a half day and then sent us home, but I couldn’t understand why we had gone to school in the first place. So much of our lives we spend waiting and this bit was just another in the line.
They wouldn’t even let us in the school to use the restrooms or water fountains. They used water from the emergency drums. If there had been a real disaster to follow then a water shortage would have come quickly. I know all this because when I got water out of a fountain the teachers explain to me that they feared the building would fall on my head.
Nowhere even near to my school had the plaster even cracked, but fear gripped folks as if a monster lurked in the shadows ready to gobble them down. The wind blows, the earth moves, and be the things of the land should get on with our lives.

Stay safe, little sister

Richard Leland Neal