Another year goes by with it's May 18 time to remember Mount Saint Helens eruption here in Washington State. My memories, here in Bellingham, WA. were from the 😮 media, that day, as we were upwind with hardly a rattle.
After finding out, I was glued to the radio for a while. On national news, the mountain's explosion was competing with another top news story. The 1980 Miami, FL. Riots.
Just today, I looked up said 1980 Miami Riots and found it in wiki.
In the weeks before the big eruption, we'd been following, news of Mount Saint Helen's rumbling with small eruptions. Wondering what might be in store.
When the big event happened, I didn't know until I was mowing someone's yard on a nice spring day in Bellingham. The woman, I was working for, invited me into the house and said, "have you heard what's been going on?"
I hadn't, but there was the TV, in her living room, full of local news from Seattle TV stations via cable. Woah.
"And I-90 all the way from Ellensburg, WA. to Missoula, MT., a mess ..."
As soon as I was done mowing her lawn, I went home and turned on the radio. National news was alternating Mount Saint Helens with the Miami Riots. Local news was all Saint Helens.
Then the radio talked about the blast being heard as far away as Vancouver, BC.
I sat on the couch I had in my apartment, back then, and wondered, "what had I been doing at that moment, soon after 8 am?" "Did I hear anything?"
Aha, I was at work cleaning a pizza oven. It sounded like someone was rattling the front door of the Pizza Parlor against a deadbolt that I had locked behind me. The rattling passed and I had forgotten. I pieced it back together. That was shock waves through the air from the mountain.
Early that evening, I wondered if I could see the plume.
I strapped my bulky, but portable, radio to the back rack of my bike to try and stay informed while I seeked out a high hill. It was awkward and hard to lash on with bungie cords, but it was the only radio I had, back then.
I managed to get it up on a hill looking south, but couldn't see anything.
I kind of wished I was back in my hometown of Pullman, WA. where the skies were said to be dark as midnight, by late afternoon due to the ash cloud going that way.
Later, that evening, I went to a place called Campus Christian Ministry, at WWU where there was a TV lounge open to the public. I watched the coverage.
Late that evening, I was back home and got a call from my sister, Lillian, in Pullman. She was able to get a phone call out. She said, "It's been dark a long time and we don't know if the sun will come out again tomorrow morning."
Next morning the sun did come out again, in Pullman and my other sister, Judith, said that it looked like a cement plant had just blown up.