Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Puppy Dog Kim Helps Peggy Freeman w Paper Drive/My 1998 Earthquake Story with no photos!

Many of you know that I sell photos on eBay for a living. Albeit not a financially rich living, but an income nonetheless. It took me almost a lifetime to figure out what I "wanted to do" with myself as far as a job goes. I worked managing a newspaper out of my masters degree program and then went to Santa Cruz, CA where I worked at a newspaper in the graphics dept for years and then at 5:o3 pm October 17, 1989, the largest earthquake to ever hit that city rocked the 100 year old building I was in and the paper was being put to press. I worked on the 3rd floor and the ceiling above me was at least 15 feet. The building was all wood so it swayed with the 7.0 rumblings and felt like a bad ride at the boardwalk...which was only 8 blocks from the downtown. There were 3 women on one giant wooden beam.. a woman in the bathroom and several others on another floor. The building didn't fall but it was split by 4 feet at the fire escape and we had to leave the building one at a time, jumping to the fire escape and down while aftershocks continued.. actually for about8 months after the quake. I slipped a disc in my neck and just like all newspapers the presses must go on. No one died in our building but several did across the street in the old Gottchalks dept store and down the street a brick building collapsed and killed several young people working at a bookstore/coffee house. When we got outside it looked like the end of the world. There were fires, alarms going off everywhere, fire department sirens coming from every direction and heat, unbearable heat as it was as hot as hell outside. We all went to a black top parking lot nearby and sat in shock together as other people in other stores continued to emerge from the smoke and broken buildings one by one. The ground continued to roll with aftershocks and I decided to go find my daughter as she was working at a restaurant on the other side of town. I got in my car after walking alone fearful to it.. drove out on to the freeway and saw that the freeway was split on an overpass but even in mortal fear the drive to get to my daughter was great so I talked to another person out the window who helped me overcome my fear to drive over a broken cement road and onward south down the freeway. People were driving so slow that although there were aftershocks you could still feel the car move up and down and that was almost as bad as the "big one". I found my daughter by 7 pm that night, no phones worked, there was no electricity and I had a slipped disc in my neck and didn't realize it until a couple days later. Immediately we were told to go back to work by the next day there was phone service. We worked out of my bosses home and it had turned cold and her window was broken out and we were working in a freezing cold home... and my neck got worse. I ended up in a my bed on codeine for months and by march had to have a bone replacement. I continued to work for the paper for another year and then quit, never to go back to newspaper again. The building was destroyed and I had all my hand colored original black and white photos in the lower level on display in their gallery. They were carried out all but 3 and although frames were destroyed the photos were saved. The building was torn down and replaced as many were in that city with earthquake proof structures.

I had big fears about earthquakes as the aftershocks were going on sometimes 20 a day for a very long time. Many people didn't stop talking about it for a long time... it was therapeutic.
My degree was in Art but I minored in journalism and loved the concept of words with pictures. Its just something I truly love.. a story with a photo. If there is information I want to let my customers know.. part of the puzzle or beauty of the image.
This photo of Peggy with Kim doesn't really need any words but the fact that her mother wrote them makes it special. I have over 300 pages and photos of this family in an album that was one of 4 that the mother painstakingly put together as a masterpiece of journalistic art. I will never part with it even though its worth a small fortune. This family had 5 children and the father was a preacher in Los Angeles and they raised their children in the Montessori school system as it is one that fosters independence and self awareness. I hope to share some of these images through the blog now and again and believe I had already listed one of her brothers with rats some time back. A photo with a story but really speaks for itself!


Sandra said...

This is a fantastic photo. Your 1998 Earthquake Story made me cringe with fear. I too, am afraid of Earthquakes. Good Story, good writing. Sandra

Jessica said...

If you have sagging floors, you may need floor leveling services and more to ensure that your home is earthquake proof.

About Me

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I am a mother of 2 wonderful girls, grandmother of 4, don't worry you will see photos of them one day! I live in Sedona Arizona, a beautiful place, lots of sun and blue blue skies! I listen to politics and my favorite radio channel is Cinemix. I am the oldest of 11 , I love my kids, my parents and my siblings and my friends!!