The recent earthquakes around the state reminded me of some of the temblors of the past.
My first experience with an earthquake was in 1940. I was 5 years old. We lived in a small wooden frame house north of Holtville. Daddy was out in the field irrigating when the initial quake hit. He said the first jolt knocked him to the ground. When he stood up he stuck his shovel deep into the ditch bank and hung on. Mama was home with my sisters and brother and I. A few things fell out of cupboards, water sloshed out of the tall water tank used to clean the ditch water we used and I was scared to death.
We had less severe quakes throughout the night. I stuck to Mama like glue in her twin bed. She probably didn't get any sleep the rest of the night.
My husband said he was sitting on the stairs of his parents' movie theater when the 1940 quake hit. He was watching a movie about a typhoon in the South Seas. I think it was something with John Wayne and Gail Russell. With all the action on the screen the movie patrons didn't realize at first that an earthquake was in progress. When it dawned on them what was happening they stormed out of the theater. My husband's mother charged through the crowd and snatched him up and headed for the exit. He remembered losing his shoes in the process.