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Where were you?

24 years ago today, Mt. St. Helen's blew her stack.

I was just getting ready to head up to a all day picnic in the Blue Mountains in Eastern Washington when the sky turned this ominous shade of gray. The street lights came on. The chickens went to roost (yep, I lived in the boonies). The ash was light and grey. We didn't get tons of it in Walla Walla, but enough to cause some concern.

It was my parent's 45th wedding anniversary, but that was just coincidental. (Today would have been their 69th anniversary. Mom died two months shy of their 68th anniversary).

Did the eruption affect you? Do you remember it?


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 18th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC)
That was 24 years ago today???

Holy cow. I was in Nebraska, and my Great-Grandmother had a vial of ash from a relative that lived out that way. I have no real strong memories of it one way or another (because we were so far away from it), but I do remember knowing that it happened...

And, if it was 24 years ago, that would have made me what? 8?
May. 18th, 2004 04:22 pm (UTC)
I only vaguely remember it, and it certaly didn't affect me per se, but I'll share this story... a couple of days ago, I was driving Z to daycare. He'd been talking earlier in the day about "climbing mountains" and also watching his favorite cartoon, Lilo and Stitch, which is set in Hawaii. So on our way to daycare, Z started talking about wanting to climb a *volcano*, except not one that had hot lava. So of course I told him about Mt. St. Helens! :)
May. 18th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)
I lived in Missoula and it affected me!
We had enough ash (very thin layer) they closed school for the week.

That summer my mom and I moved to Seattle. We had to stop for the night in Moses Lake because driving through ash covered eastern washington had resulted in my mom's contact lens getting all gunked up.

May. 18th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)
The eruption didn't really affect me personally, since I wasn't born until the end of July that year, but my husband was living with his family in Silverdale, WA (though he was too little to really remember it). The only reason they didn't get a lot of ash in their yard was because the wind was blowing east.
May. 18th, 2004 08:29 pm (UTC)
I remember watching it on TV in the kitchen. We'd spent a couple of days watching the build-up on the news, and it was amazing to see it. I always associate it with the approach of my birthday, on the 25th. Mt Saint Helens was the second place I visited after I moved here -- I don't think I had ever seen anyplace so huge and so empty.
May. 18th, 2004 08:41 pm (UTC)
I was 11, Mom was driving home from Oregon when she was caught in it. She was driving a teeny spider Fiat and had to pull over for the night because the ash was so thick on the ground and coming down so hard. She still has pictures of the several inches of ash covering her car.....We even had some of the ash fall in Tacoma where I lived....
May. 18th, 2004 10:06 pm (UTC)
It was a Sunday. We were in church in Ellensburg when it exploded. i was 6, my younger sister was 3 and the little neighbor girl we took home with us was 2. It had been sunny when we left for church, but when we left for home it was dark black and the wind was blowing ash EVERYWHERE. i remember being instructed to keep our shirts over our faces, even though i didn't understand why. i was a bit frightened, that's for sure.

i know we were out of school for a while because of it. We have a picture of my sister riding her trike in the ash, wearing a dust mask. :)

We moved to Iowa when i was 8, and every year thereafter, when we had "All About Me" day i brought my jar of ash into school and told the story.
May. 18th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC)
24 years ago
I was 9, and I saw it blow from my own backyard. Pretty good view of the cloud, though we were in Vancouver on the south side of the mountain, so we didn't get the really good view of the blown-out side.

Good news is, we also didn't get loads of ash, just a few dustings. I found some of the ash in a trunk of mine just a few days ago, in fact. My last day of 4th grade was cancelled due to ash fall, I remember having to have mom take me there to give my presents to the teachers. (Yes, I was a suck-up child.)
May. 18th, 2004 10:45 pm (UTC)
I was living in CA at the time and not directly affected by it. The two main things I remember were being worried about my Dad because he was installing phone systems in that area when the mountain blew, and getting packages of ash in the mail from him for a couple of years... he gathered a lot of ziploc baggies full of the stuff, from different areas and strata, for mixing into my ceramic glazes.
May. 19th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
I wasn't affected at all, other than being utterly fascinated by the news footage and the next month's National Geographic. I was almost 6 years old, living in CT.

That summer, my father went to a NEA conference and some of the delegates from WA were handing out little film canisters full of ash, which he gave to me when he got home. I don't know what happened to it...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )