Week 10: What is My Earliest Memory?

I’m the first to admit my memory isn’t the best. In fact, I have very few memories from childhood that are anything other than extremely vague. For that matter, I have very few memories from childhood that are extremely vague.

However, for quite some time, I’ve had this idea that I remembered the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 that struck when I was just 2 years old. I never mentioned the memory to anyone in my family, so I never knew if it was a true memory or a dream.


In this memory, I remember the TV being on for the famed baseball game. We lived in Concord, CA at the time. My brothers, mom, and I were in the family room when it started. I don’t remember the feeling of it or how I felt (if I was scared, confused, etc.). I remember that we went out to the back porch (right off the family room) during the earthquake and waited it out there.

And that’s where the memory ends. I never knew if it was real until just the other day when I described it to my mom.

Turns out… that really is what happened! Who knew, right? My mom filled in the details that I was missing.


My dad was at the game itself, so we had the TV on for the pre-game. My mom told us to watch the screen when the crowd was shown so we could try to find him. Right as a crowd shot came up, the screen went to static. My mom was confused (and a little frustrated), because she had no idea why the feed was lost. Our family room was fully wood-paneled and, all of a sudden, it started creaking. The earthquake had reached us. My mom called to all of us to come outside where it was safe (no power lines or anything dangerous to fall on us nearby), and we waited it out. She described the feeling of the Earth moving like standing on a boat on the ocean.

I’m not gonna lie… I was pretty excited to learn that my memory was accurate. My next step? Finding some ways to improve my memory. Anyone got any suggestions?

For the curious, below are a few more images of the area following the earthquake.




All images found on Wikipedia


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