Ridgeway like it was Yesterday

by O.B. Thomas
(Houston, Texas)


I lived in Ridgeway and my Dad was the fuel oil distributor in the area for Standard Oil. Our company was called "Peninsula Fuel."

We had a trailer park on our property along with trucks and storage tanks and a service station as well as our house.

I was 17 and a junior at Kenai High.

I had just gotten home from school and in front of the TV for my favorite show, Fireball XL 5 when the house started shaking violently.

I remember yelling earthquake and ran outside with my mother and younger brothers and sister. The hard packed snow was making a loud cracking noise, I looked around and saw power lines dropping to the ground and then snapping back as tight a guitar strings.

Large trucks in the yard were bouncing back and forth and the tire chains hanging on the sides were rattling making an incredible noise.

Then our gas station just fell down, crumbled to the ground.

It seemed like the shaking went on forever. When it finally stopped our house was still standing. We were lucky.

For the next several weeks we were trapped because all the bridges to anywhere had been destroyed.

We were without electricity for what seemed like months. That was my last year in Alaska. My dad sold out and we moved to the lower 48.

One of my friends skipped school that Friday with his parents and went Pier fishing in Homer. They were never seen again.

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