Re: Recollecting the March 22, 1957 5.3 Earthquake

03/07/07 - posted by Mary-Ann

Yeah, I remember that day well. It was right before lunch, as you said, Paul. I had just put my eight-month-old baby boy into his high chair in front of the kitchen windows (46th Avenue jr/5 near Ulloa) when I heard the thing coming. I never moved so fast - grabbed Bobby out of the high chair (to keep him away from any flying glass) and stood under the doorframe in the middle of the house and listened to a few things come crashing down in the kitchen. How did I know it was a big one? I have no idea. Maybe having spent all my life in SF (except for a few months in Paso Robles) gives you that unconscious, gut feeling. I simply knew I had to get my little one away from the window. We lost one bottle of wine and maybe a bit of glassware - I don't remember any real damage. Many of the neighbors panicked, mostly women in the daytime, and ran out into the street. Not me. I'm lucky in that I can remain cool and don't rattle easily. I don't really remember aftershocks, although I'm sure there were many. I guess I remained alert the rest of that day, but don't recall being afraid.

My mother was on a B streetcar that had just turned onto Balboa at 33rd, looked down Balboa toward the ocean and saw the street & tracks rolling. She was another cool one.

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