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A Season In Hell

20th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake

Saturday, October 17
6pm

I was working at 97.3fm KRQR, on the 32nd floor of Embarcadero One, in downtown SF. I was in the main studio, sitting on a tall hydrolic lift chair, which had it’s issues, when the quake hit. I thought at first that the chair was breaking, when all of a sudden the five-foot-tall cart rack, which held our commercials, directly next to me, fell over. We knew right away it was an earthquake.

I attempted to jump off the chair, and make a break for the door. It was not an easy thing to do. I never did make it there. Looking out the window, I saw the Bank of America building waving at us, and we were waving back.

Following the quake, the power at Embarcadero One was out. I was running between KRQR and KCBS. They had me running news copy to read on the air. All the staffers were in the studio with us, sharing their thoughts.

Eventually, I and the mail-room guy took off and walked all the way over to the Marina district to see the fire.

By the time I got back to the garage at the Embarcadero, the streets were very dark, except for the cars escaping out of the city, by crawling out, like roaches, creeping down the darkened streets.

The garage attendant waved me through the gate, which was nice, since I was on empty and had only four dollars in my pocket. I found the 76 station on 1st and Harrison open, put four dollars in, which then bought four gallons, enough to get me home in San Mateo.

I have a memory of going south bound on 280, but found an accident involving two Muni buses going north bound on the 280 south bound lanes. Hmm….

Strange thing about that day, all the women I spoke with earlier in the day had headaches. I also lost a watch that meant a lot to me, a few days previous, only to find it after the quake. That, along with the luck of using my last four dollars to purchase gas instead of paying the parking attendant, made for a very unusual day. And of course, the earthquake.

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