Re: Earthquake memories during my youth - 1957 & 1963

11/23/09 - posted by norm

The interesting thing about the '57 earthquake was that it hit as the first major quake for early Boomers. We were at a developmental stage where we could remember the event and the various responses taken by our teachers, parents, community members, etc. Hence, it had huge impact even beyond its rating on the Richter scale. It was indeed our initiation if not inculcation to something that helped define us as San Franciscans. We learned about standing under doorframes, getting away from windows, staying away from tall building, etc. It made us ready to hear about the '06 quake which truly defined the City and perhaps our spirit. We were ready for the comments from cousins and tourists from across the nation who always asked "aren't you afraid of earthquakes?" Do you remember your smug answers? "Oh no, they are fun."

True, the quake of '57 was not the '06 quake or the world series quake....but don't tell that to an aging boomer. It was our quake. It was one of our first steps in coming of age.

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.