As part of the opening to Debate, endorsements, and a poll from KPBS in San Diego, I observed in passing that yesterday (at least here in Michigan) is a holiday. I made no further mention of the day, which is odd, because I stated in Happy Festivus! that I love holidays, including fake ones. I realized that I should have posted something about Martin Luther King Day, at least as much as last year, when it was combined with Obama's Inauguration. Today, I'll mark the occasion by describing my most vivid memory about the holiday, which ironically has nothing to do with the intended meaning of the day. Instead, it's about experiencing the Northridge earthquake from afar through television, a story I tell my students.
Before our daughter was born, my ex-wife and I had agreed that I would take the second feeding of the night, which means that she was bottle-fed. After several years, that meant that I was in charge of my daughter's breakfast. On the morning of MLK Day, my daughter woke me up by saying "Daddy, I'm hungry." So I got up, prepared her breakfast, sat her down in front of the TV in the basement, and then put one of her favorite Disney tapes, which was either "Sleeping Beauty" or "Cinderella," I forget which. Just before the tape started running, I saw the announcement on Good Morning America that there had been an earthquake in Los Angeles. "Yeah, yeah, what else is new," I thought. Then the movie started and I lay down on the couch to sleep. After all, it was a holiday, and I didn't have to go to school or work. When I woke up, Regis and Cathy Lee were not on, as I expected, but news coverage. I recognized immediately that this was a bad thing. The last time I saw news instead of the mid-morning show was when the Challenger exploded. I grew even more horrified when it was about the earthquake and the location shots were all of places I knew and had been. There was damage at the university I had attended before I moved,* damage to the apartments my sister had lived in, damage to the mall where I had shopped. I may have been 2,000 miles and five years away, but it still struck close to home.
I could go on, but I'll let Peter Jennings and the ABC Evening News do the showing instead of me doing the telling in 1/17/94 1st Segment of "ABC World News Tonight" Northridge Quake.
For the rest of the entry, including two embedded videos, surf over to Twentieth anniversary of Northridge earthquake at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.