Re: Recollecting the March 22, 1957 5.3 Earthquake

05/05/09 - posted by Michael Meloy

I was in the 9th grade at Presidio. I was 4th period and I was in an English class on the west side of 4th floor. Fred Norman sat behind me and we always fooled around. My desk started to rock and I turned around to tell Freddie to knock it off, but he had a real shocked look on his face. Then the windows open, cabinets opened and books fell out.

When it stopped, we evacuated. When we were in the yard, I could see a piece of the chimney was lying on the ground at the exit from the cafeteria. Normally there would be students standing there as the 4th period lunch crowd exited the cafeteria, but not today.

We were outside for about an hour and then sent home. I spent the rest the day to Dave Clark, Mike Lenzini and Markie Nishimoto playing poker and riding out the aftershocks. Presidio was damaged and it was a week before we could return. I remember coming back to school and we were that we could not go to class until we empty our lockers of lunches that had been left behind. We were told to take the lunches to trash cans outside. That was very good thing, as the school really smelled badly! All of the rotting lunches had become smelly, bad biology projects.

I do remember that between the classroom wing and the shop wing, the building had separated and one wing sank about a foot. I remember that there was a metal ramp between the wings.

I also remember friends attending George Washington HS did not feel the quake. It was between periods and they were very unaware.

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