Today is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, which I remember distinctly because it disrupted a World Series game between the A’s and the Giants.
I was a newly minted college graduate (having been a precocious child who matriculated at age five, obviously) and living far from home — in Boston. I remember the fall and winter of 1989 well because I was experiencing climate shock (i.e., freezing my ass off). Also, to me at least, it seemed like the world was coming unmoored, and in my mind, the earthquake appeared to kick off a series of momentous events. The Berlin Wall fell less than a month later.
A little over a month after that, some friends and I were at Logan Airport waiting for a rental car so we could drive up to a cabin in Maine to spend Christmas there. (The bastards wanted to show me REAL cold! Fuckers!) A young woman in a Hertz uniform was listening to a small transistor radio and quietly sobbing behind the counter.
I asked her what was wrong, and in accented English, she told me she was Romanian and the Ceaușescu regime was being violently overthrown and she was worried about her family and was trying to find a way to get home. I didn’t know what to say. I wished her the best of luck, got into my rented Ford and drove up to Maine to freeze my ass off some more. I never did find out what happened to her.
Life is frequently fraught, sometimes at the same time for a lot of people. I suppose every period of time is momentous for some poor bastard somewhere. But occasionally events seem to happen in a sequence that makes you feel like you live in particularly interesting times. The end of 1989 was like that for me, starting 25 years ago today. Now get the fuck off my lawn.[H/T: Buzzfeed, for sending me down memory lane]