30 years ago today…

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

30 years ago, today I was playing a wiffle ball game with a bunch of buddies a short distance away from the San Andreas Fault Line in the cul-de-sac of Prado Ct. in Portola Valley, California… 

I was up to bat and about to take my boy Chops deep when I watched a wave roll through the ground… 

I lost my balance then dropped my bat so I could place my hands on the ground to keep from falling over. Then, another wave rolled through and I naturally fired my hands back up in the air and said:

“Look dudes, I’m surfing!!!” 

It then felt like a gigantic set of never ending waves kept coming, one after another, until it finally stopped. 

At this point in my life, I had felt an earthquake before but nothing like this… Still, I was unfazed and I am not sure any of us could remotely comprehend the significance of what just hit.

Immediately after the 7.1 magnitude quake, we all scattered home, not because we were scared but because it was getting close to the start of Game 3 of the Bay Bridge World Series between the Giants and the A’s and nobody wanted to miss a pitch..

I pedaled my brand new Specialized Yellow RockHopper as fast as I could back up to my house at 302 Old La Honda Rd. When I arrived, nobody was home and it looked as if the place had been ransacked… The armoire in the front hallway had fallen over, the TV was smashed on the ground and there wasn’t a picture left hanging on the wall.  

Worse off, the electricity was out and I had absolutely no way of watching the ballgame. 

I then grabbed an old transistor radio and tuned it to KNBR 680.

That’s when reality hit.

Second by second, the news poured in. First off, I found out the size of the quake, then heard that the game had been postponed… The Bay Bridge had collapsed and the Marina was on fire.

Then one aftershock hit after another and I high tailed it out of the house and stood in the middle of the driveway for about an hour until the rest of my family got home.

We then surveyed the entire house and quickly began the clean up process… 

A few hours later we were done, and our lives went on. 

Yet, that wasn’t nearly the case for thousands of other people when their lives were forever changed by the devastation that took place on that fateful October day. 

I bring this up not to dwell on the catastrophe that took place 30 years ago today, but I bring it up as a reminder that we live in a universe where so much of nature’s happenings are completely outside of our control. We obviously preach all the time here in the Daily Hustle that we can’t always control the things that happen to us, but we can ALWAYS control our response.

Over the next several days, images and video footage of daring and incomprehensible rescues flooded the TV… 

I was just 13 at the time but that was the first time in my life when I got to witness the overall goodness of humanity first hand as well as the incredible power of people when our instinctual helping nature comes out in a time of crisis.

8 days later, the World Series resumed and 9 days later, I sat in section 62 of Candlestick Park and watched the A’s finish off a sweep of the Giants… Yet, I realized this wasn’t an Oakland vs. SF thing anymore; this was about the entire Bay Area coming together to say we may get knocked down, but you bet your ass we are going to get back up…