Thirty-seven years ago today, a bunch of friends and I were recovering from a heavy night of partying at a home on the North Shore with a southern view. We had spent a few fitful hours sprawled on the carpet or on sofas trying to sleep off the effects of whatever it was we may have ingested, and I am certain none of us would have been awake at 8:30 that Sunday morning if it hadn’t been for the explosion way south of us.
I’m not sure that we heard the big bang, but we sure felt it as we struggled to our feet and struggled to understand what was happening. Someone switched on the TV and soon the Seattle stations were covering the volcano moment by moment, and we could finally figure out what had disturbed us so.
I spent almost the entire day transfixed to the screen as the disaster unfolded. I had only moved to Vancouver a few months earlier, and I thought this was just the most exciting thing. And then the death toll started rising, and it wasn’t so cool anymore.