The birds just went to sleep

August 21, 2013


From my ebook Homicide: Now and Then

 

HOMICIDE May 19, 1980

Suddenly, the sun was gone, the blue sky disappearing behind a riptide of boiling gray clouds. Heat lightning danced in jagged bolts overhead. Trees swayed and the ground shook. The daylight turned to darkness. Mount St. Helens had blown her lid.

Jess Baker of Battle Ground: “The birds just went to sleep.”

Bob Harju of Vancouver, Clark County: “God, it was quiet out there.”

Bob Brotmiller looking up at the boiling gray clouds churning out of Mount St. Helens: “It was like an atomic explosion. But there was no sound. This was the face of God.”

Kathy Anderson who was directing a U.S. Forest Service replanting crew on the side of the mountain just four miles below the summit, described an awesome scene of flashing lightning bolts, a boiling cauldron of volcanic ash billowing out of the crater: “I felt as if my consciousness had been turned inside out and I was condemned to look inwards for the rest of my existence.”

Her colleague John Morris: “I kept thinking, this is it, this is the end of everything.”

the family tree

 

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