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Posts Tagged ‘geology’

For years I have been fascinated with the story of a goldfish that survived the April 29th, 1965 Puget Sound earthquake. This was a strong quake that one of my parents remembers vividly. They were just kids when it happened, and as a kid I remember marveling over their description of the strong jolts, groceries toppling, and the pavement in the parking lot of a Pierce County grocery store rising and falling in waves.

HistoryLink’s Alan Stein wrote a piece on this nearly 20 years ago which is posted below (click to see the explanatory newspaper photo). Given the local connection to Juanita Beach, and the fact that Wednesday is the 55th anniversary of the earthquake and the goldfish’s improbable survival, I’ve wanted to make this into a local festival. I asked around. No bites. And that was before COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

At minimum, I wanted to put this logo, with its upside down fish bowl, on t-shirts and bumper stickers. Kirkland needs to celebrate its history more as its high density development is swallowing up the past. We see cars with odes to Wall Drug, the world’s largest ball of string, and the Mystery Spot, so why not our Juanita Beach goldfish? Why not make this a thing? It’s especially salient with the renovations going on at the park right now. Much of the park is being completely redesigned.

If you live or work anywhere near Kirkland, raise a glass to the Pepple goldfish this Wednesday, April 29th, then turn it upside down quickly and see if you can get a seal. We really should celebrate something this memorable, this miraculous, this bizarre… especially at a time when we all need a really good party.


Goldfish survives bizarre earthquake experience on April 29, 1965.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 3/01/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3037

On April 29, 1965, a goldfish owned by Juanita resident Howard Pepple survives a strange experience. The glass bowl containing the fish flips off a 4-foot 8-inch bookcase, overturns, and lands on the floor upsidedown, forming a seal. When Mr. Pepple returns home, he finds the fish swimming complacently in its overturned domicile.

A Fish Story

Pepple, a caretaker at Juanita Beach Park, lived in an apartment above the park’s concession stand with his wife and fish. No one was home during the quake except the fish, so two hours after the temblor Mr. Pepple returned to assess any damage that may have occurred to their dwelling and possessions.

The object most out of place was the fishbowl. When the Pepples had left in the morning it had been sitting on a shelf, more than four feet above the floor. It was now lying upside down at ground level. Examining it further, Mr Pepple saw water inside. The fish swam within, oblivious to its current predicament.

Flipper

Investigators surmised that during the quake, the shelf swayed, and the bowl was knocked from its perch. It flipped end over end as it fell to the tiled floor. The soft tile, similar to lineoleum, softened the blow, and the mouth of the bowl landed perfectly flush with the floor. A seal formed which kept water (and fish) inside. Rocks which had been on the bottom of the glass domicile were on the floor, still within the fishbowl.

The local newspaper was alerted to this bizarre event and photos were taken. Pepple then inverted the bowl, returned it and its resident back to the shelf, and things returned back to normal in the Pepple household. All was well again in Juanita.


Sources: “Juanita Goldfish Swims After Quake Flips Bowl,” East Side Journal May 6, 1965, p. 1.


©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com except HistoryLink article, which is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution.

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Oso 2016 21

On March 22nd, 2014, a landslide killed 43 people in Snohomish County, Washington. Nearly as many homes were destroyed as a section of hillside fell away. You might remember the following posts from that time, Help Oso Mudslide Victims, Oso Aid, and Oso’s Geological Hazards.

It’s been more than two years since this horrific disaster during which the local community demonstrated a powerful loyalty to their neighbors. The cries of Oso Strong and 530 Strong rang for months as they worked alongside rescue and recovery crews. The Oso Community Chapel, among many other entities, rallied to aid survivors and to help everyone involved process the loss.

It was time to pay my respects. I’d been within a few miles of the slide the week after it happened. There have been plenty of pictures of it. But I needed to see it for myself.

The drive from the town of Arlington seemed to take forever. Approaching the site were numerous red-lettered signs warning people not to park on the shoulders or make any u-turns for two miles. 530 is a two lane, rural highway with freeway speeds. But I was unsure where it was legal to stop so drove up to this spot first and turned around.

Oso 2016 1

Driving back west, I saw a turnout on what used to be Steelhead Drive. It was clearly a memorial for the victims, so noting the absence of no parking signs at this particular point, I stopped for a couple of minutes. This is what I saw.

Oso 2016 2

That used to be a neighborhood. This was a somber sight.

The site is secured by a gate that contains messages of remembrance and hope. I did not get a clear shot of it but someone did a beautiful job of making these wooden signs.

Oso 2016 3

People left mementos. Again, the picture is fuzzy, but the sign in the center of these lovingly placed items says, “believe.”

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This is still Steelhead Drive.

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The magnitude of this sorrow made for a heavy atmosphere.

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There are several rows of decorated young trees to the right of the gate. I’m assuming there’s one for each person who lost their life but I didn’t count.

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Across the road another American flag flies proudly.

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A couple of more shots while leaving the site. This is such a severe scar on a beautiful area.

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Another symbol of unity and pride.

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Stopping by the Oso Community Chapel on the way back, I was delighted by its cheery newer paint job.

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Signs of community pride are literally everywhere, including on the church’s bulletin board.

Oso 2016 13

Oso 2016 14

The fire department looks quiet now. This was a hive of activity in the Spring of 2014, with vehicles spilling out of the parking lot as well as up and down the highway.

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There are still yellow ribbons, flowers, and wreaths for miles, in people’s yards, around road signs, and here outside the fire department.

Oso 2016 16

Statements of strength aren’t difficult to find along this stretch.

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This sign captured what I felt best. These people and the first responders and volunteers involved were a formidable force. They mobilized quickly and what they accomplished was flat out heroic. But many are still fighting their way back psychologically, financially, and otherwise. The photos I show here are the sanitized, time-tempered version of the muddy hell that they were working in for so long.

Oso 2016 20

Please keep the Highway 530 community in your hearts as they continue to heal. And thank you to the many people who gave so generously of their time and talents to help this community. I know that some of you are among them.

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If you make one mistake in this life, let it be loving too much. –Jim Hayford

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

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From the Washington State Department of Natural Resources

From the Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Monday, March 24th, I was perusing blog posts about the Oso, Washington mudslide, some of which were written by people knowledgeable about local geology. I was disturbed by what I found. By Tuesday, the major news stations and newspapers around Seattle had started to publish stories asking the same question—were there red flags indicating that the mudslide would happen? Could a landslide happen again soon?

I’m not an expert, but the more I learn about the geology in this area, the more concerned I become about the possibility of another slide and the more I question whether rebuilding in the same spot—if that’s on the table– is a wise idea. As a society we see rebuilding as a sign of resilience and so might not question the wisdom of doing so. (more…)

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Trent & Peak Archaeology/The University of Nottingham

Trent & Peak Archaeology/The University of Nottingham

Lasers, GPS, and sandstone, oh my!

Since seeing the Disney version of Robin Hood as a child, I’ve been intrigued by the Robin Hood legends. I believe that many myths and legends have some sort of historical basis, and we already know that the places mentioned in these legends are real. (more…)

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