My parents called to reassure me that they were fine. This morning’s 6.6 quake jolted their Honolulu home and knocked out the power. No TV, no Internet, just a battery-powered radio to convey the news.
Here on the Mainland CNN was running a continuous feed from Honolulu channel KITV. Reports alternated between updates from government agencies and advice to stay off the road and avoid making unnecessary calls (except for this one, of course). I changed the channel when people called in to describe how they were feeling when the earth moved. Later might be the time for personal stories. When the news is breaking, just give it to me straight.
In 1950’s Hawaii we worried about calamities that never came to pass---nuclear war, tidal waves, hurricanes, and earthquakes. In the absence of disaster we quickly become blasé. Even the continuously erupting volcanoes don’t hold our interest for long. We put up guard rails so that tourists don’t get too close to the lava and focus our attention on the next worry du jour.
Early on a clear Sunday morning nearly 65 years ago an unexpected event on the Island of Oahu precipitated a World War. This Sunday we were reminded that life still has the ability to surprise. © 2006 Stephen Yuen