Posts Tagged ‘childhood memories

12
Oct
14

Columbus Day Storm, 1962…Portland, Oregon

I recall no warning. In those days, we were not glued to techno notifications. My Mom was making dinner, my Dad was at work. The boys in the neighborhood were outside playing football after school. I remember where I was in the back yard. The sky took on an odd yellow, green, purple color. The winds picked up. As we threw the football, the pressure change is etched in my mind. Almost instantly, it seemed, a powerful wind unlike any other I have experienced in life, literally seemed to suck shingles off roofs and hold them in the air. Mothers came out of back doors and yelled for their children to come indoors.

Jacobs Ladder

Unearthly rays emanating from the point opposite the setting sun half hour before storm of Oct. 12, 1962 hit. Weather Bureau explains these as “Crepuscular rays, caused by sun shining through breaks in clouds, illuminating dust particles in air.” Similar phenomenon is sometimes called “Jacob’s Ladder,” because it seems to come down from heaven. Picture was taken by Mrs. Charles W. Myers from her room on top floor of Park Plaza, 1929 S.W. Park Ave. 4:40 P.M.

There was a sense of urgency. Perhaps something was being mentioned on radios playing in the house. I don’t know. Dads came home. Suddenly we were in the basement. To this day, I can’t imagine how my parents knew beyond their prior rural lives in Wisconsin or West Virginia. And for the next 15 hours we hunkered in the basement, beneath the stairs, in the dark as a roar went on and on. I recall my Dad venturing up the stairs, only briefly, and retreating beneath the stairs. The three of us, sat leaning back against the wall and listened to what had to be the world ending. I was 14 (yes I am that old!) and I still remember wondering what the neighborhood would look like when the dark went away. 

chimney

This was a familiar find in the morning, in our neighborhood. Not only were all the trees blown over, almost every one lost their chimney. I recall the sound of our chimney toppling over and hitting the driveway above us.

I know tornadoes and hurricanes and typhoons ravage regions often. But, in the Pacific NW, this is still the storm all other storms are measured by in this region and it still reigns supreme 52 years later! The winds gusts, sustained winds at times, hit 117 mph that night in Portland, as much as 179 mph on the Oregon Coast (Cape Blanco). Every tree along our street was laying this way and that in the morning. Dozens of Birch and Maple trees crisscrossed the street, wires down, and most amazing to me then, the sun shined bright. Men took saws and axes to try and clear the street. No one had a chain saw. None of those trees were ever replaced to this day.

Columbus Day 1 docudharma

In the end, 46 people died. By today’s monetary standards, the storm damage runs to $3-4 billion dollars in damage. Enough trees to build 1,ooo,ooo million homes were destroyed from the Pacific ocean shore as far as Montana…15 billion board feet of timber. Nothing has since equaled it in this region, let alone much of the country. 

04
Apr
14

Old Bricks (How to Make Bricks) & Salvage Memories

I recall, in the mid-60’s, my parents agreed to tear down a two story, 24 unit apartment complex. It was a long project taking four months to complete. My Dad would work his full time job and then evenings and weekends were fully committed to tearing down the structure by hand. No heavy equipment. Hand tools and extension ladders were it. I was, of course, recruited to help.

My parents figured they would salvage as much of the materials as possible to resell them. So every salvageable board, pipe, wiring and bricks were saved and hauled home in the back of two 1949 Buick Roadmaster’s that had the rear seats removed. Day after day all this stuff was transported to my parents back yard.

My duties, beyond muscling the materials into and out of the car and carrying them to the back yard, were removing all nails from every board and stacking brick. I was tasked with using a hatchet to skim each brick clean of the mortar. My parents would sell each brick at 2¢. When I see a stack of bricks today, I recall my very sore hands as a youth.

The bricks, below, were near an old farm house built in the 1880’s. Someone started the salvage effort at one point.

Photography-Bricks-Old Pile-SwittersB

Making Bricks in the Old Days

Photography-Brick-Moss-SwittersB

More How To’s On Brick Making

Photography-Bricks-SwittersB

 

 

02
Jan
12

Lights Out: Destiny, Luck?

Life's Journey & the Dead Ends (1953)

This picture has nothing to do with fly fishing or the outdoors. It is a picture of Rusty (L), Ruth and SwittersB (R). Rusty and Ruth were brother/sister. We all lived in a working class neighborhood that in retrospect was rough, being situated adjacent to taverns, bars, industry, low rent and hard people.

We played all the usual kid’s games and all seemed simple and safe to us.

Ruth left home young chasing some hard case. She was found dumped in a lot, naked and done.

Rusty, an outlaw biker, laid his chopper down on a Portland bridge and perished beneath a car.

My parents moved us across town to a nicer neighborhood. I learned not to wear my pants so high on my hips.

 




Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

August 2020
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

Welcome to SwittersB & Exploring. Please Share, Comment & Like Away!

Please subscribe just below. Use the Search box to search topics.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the SwittersB blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,234 other followers

The Past

231!!! Countries Visiting SwittersB~Thank You!!!

free counters

Blog Stats: There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • 4,831,498 Visits/Views (WP Original Stat~Pre Flag Counter Stats)

There’s No Accounting For Taste; Search the Blog for Much More. Thanks for Visiting!


%d bloggers like this: