My parents and friends have many stories about being in Santa Cruz.
Up around Crystal Springs there was a Standard Gas station that was open. I recall that being the only gas station I saw open from Sunnyvale to my place in San Francisco. I also recall soldiers, Navy, Army whatever different branches of service directing traffic in the middle of the intersections on Van Ness Ave. Many people in the apartment complex were in the building as they were home to watch the World Series.
A few days earlier, there was a friend of mine who was going to bar tending school.
After prying our son from the table leg, a chair went flying into the wall, right where he had been hiding.
We lived at the end of a dead-end private road, and our neighbors rallied to our aid.
I recall one report saying the Bay Bridge fell down. After about 30 minutes or so, we went back into the office and began to work again – all of a few minutes when an aftershock hit.
I recall our VP of Engineering saying “I’m blowing this popcorn stand.” and he left.
One neighbor, a nurse, gave me an injection to keep me from going into shock, others drove us though rock slides and fissures in the roadway, to the emergency room.
We all camped out together that night, caring for each other and providing support.
I recall in Los Altos the strong smell of a broken gas line. I recall cop cars driving around at night with the alley lights on lighting up the left and right of their cars.
I got up to 280 and along they way there was a separation of the roadway in the Los Altos area – the crack went across the entire freeway. I recall it being dark going up the street and all the street lights were out. We heard that looting was going on down the street.
My father was on business travel and in Denver he saw the news and thought it was an anniversary for another quake somewhere else. His flight was routed to Reno where he called an offsite car rental agency.