The ’49 Earthquake

I’ve been corresponding (via email) with a woman who grew up mainly on Capitol Hill and Blake Island. We were remembering the 1949 Earthquake and where we were at the time, and how it all felt, what happened in our lives as a result. I have maintained for years that your first earthquake is the one by which you judge all successive ones. I should reflect that I mean the first one of which you are totally aware. I experienced an earthquake in 1946 which I didn’t (and still don’t) remember.April 13, 1949, was the day I was measured and fitted with my first pair of glasses, at a small clinic on First Hill, run by Dr. Wightman and his nurse, Miss Cutting. I have never forgotten either of them, as they took care of all my glasses needs until Dr. Wightman’s death (around 1960). We left the clinic and took a bus downtown where we were to meet a family friend, Jo Renner, for lunch at Rhodes. We were in the women’s lounge when the earthquake hit.

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