The 1964 Earthquake
was a
Shaking Experience

by Elaine E. Smith Ivey
(Alaska)


My sister and I were sitting together, watching our favorite TV show, Fireball XL5 at our home on 3900 Arctic Blvd.

As I remember, there was some kind of giant dinosaur charging through a jungle on Fireball XL5.

When the 1964 Alaska earthquake first struck, everything started shaking horribly, and I thought the same dinosaur was stomping up our street and that he was real.

My dad was cooking a dinner of pork chops and applesauce as we watched the TV come right out of its built-in wall placement and crash to the floor.

While he was cooking, dad had left all the sliding kitchen cabinet doors open and everything was crashing down in the kitchen. The fridge behind him was walking across the floor with the door wide open. Fresh, red Jello was thrown everywhere including the floor a dad was slipping and sliding to save the pork chops. Talk about a mess.

Later, we were told that the water in our well was no longer safe to drink.

After the quake, and later in life, our lives would be terrified every time an earthquake started.

My mom was still at work at API on 36th.

She said many adults were flying out of the front doors to run home. All the secretaries gathered the patients and waited on the front lawn in groups.

Soon the Doctors returned and somehow, mom was able to drive home.

I was terrified of any shaking for years to come.

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