December 22, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Red Squares

Today, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled the central coast of California, wreaking havoc on the towns of Paso Robles, Cambria and Templeton—my parents' neck of the woods. Luckily, they had spent the weekend in San Diego, celebrating the Christmas holiday with me and the rest of my family. But not so luckily, their home suffered quite a bit of damage. Upon returning north this afternoon, my father determined that the house was more or less structurally sound. However, he reported that it was otherwise a disaster area. There was so much broken glass everywhere that they couldn't let the dogs in the house. They had a hard time opening the pantry door because of all of the foodstuffs that had been knocked from the shelves. My mother estimated that nearly half of all her fine glassware and china had been destroyed. All told, my father said that about 20 percent of the various possessions throughout the entire house had been damaged.

On the news, I saw images of collapsed buildings around the town square where I had been only a few weeks ago, and where I had planned to visit this weekend. Historic buildings in the historic town of Paso Robles fell into ruin. In nearby San Luis Obispo, visitors to a winery were injured by falling wine barrels. Just a few days later, those barrels could have rolled over my friends and I as we went wine tasting.

But my parents only lost things. Only my weekend plans were ruined. Two women lost their lives; a young man's life plans were ruined, as his young fiancée was one of those two women. My thoughts are with my parents as they clean up the wreckage. But my thoughts are also with those who lost more, much more, when red squares erupted on the Central Coast.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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December Columns:

12/31: Happy New Year
12/29: Return of the Oscar King
12/28: The Year in Travel
12/26: Trial by Piranha
12/25: Merry Christmas
12/22: Red Squares
12/21: Havasu Falls
12/20: Last Will & Testament
12/19: Bah Humbug
12/16: Newsworthy
12/15: The "Strick" Dialogues
12/14: Animal-Animal
12/12: Old Memories
12/7: Letters to the Editor
12/5: Greed Strike
12/4: Another Day at the Office
12/3: The "Back" in Quarterback
12/1: Sixty-Four
Previous months in The Archive

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