October 7, 1983, 6:19 am - The Day the Earth Did Not Stand Still.
Life as a newlywed was great. Wen and I had been married for less than a month and we were already living in our fantastic second-floor, two-bedroom apartment, with a back patio no less. And pop open the champagne because the results were in. Yes, she was pregnant! Life was good and all was calm with the world. I was now Mr. Puffed-Up Chest who was ready to take on the world. I would do anything to protect my home and family.
Little did I know, there were events going on underground, about 250 miles to the north, in Blue Mountain, New York, that would spoil my beauty nap. It seems that a 5.3 earthquake was about to start there, which would involve two provinces in Canada and twelve states in the USA. Not to mention little old Bronx, New York.
Before this time, I had never experienced a quake before. I'd seen them in the movies but I'd always heard that New York City was built on solid bedrock. No need to worry about natural disasters when you're a native New Yorker. We don't have time for such things. I guess Mother Nature was not impressed with our New York way of doing things.
At 6:19 am, it began as a slight rumbling which was shaking the bed just enough to wake me up. I felt as if I was standing on the subway platform and a train was passing through but no worse. A few seconds later, the bed was moving from side to side really hard and there was a far away noise which sounded much louder than the number 5 IRT express.
I jumped out of the bed, landed on my feet and realized that the floor was also shaking violently. I stood there for a second trying to ascertain what would be my best course of action to protect the woman I loved. By now, Wen was looking in my direction and was just as bewildered as I was. The noise seemed to increase and all I could imagine was that there was a problem with the boiler in the basement and it was about to blow up. Within another two seconds, I decided to take the bravest course of action possible. With no thought of danger to my personal safety, I jumped back into the bed and used my body to shield my wife from harm.
After a few more seconds, there was silence. Wen and I looked at each other and waited a while. We glanced out the window and saw no commotion, so we then turned on the television and the radio. We found out what the rest of the area was also experiencing. There were no aftershocks. At least none that affected our area.
Some may say that I bolted back into the bed out of fear. I say that I carefully calculated the odds and proceeded to save the life of my new wife, my unborn child and also the entire city of New York. At least that's the way I'd like to remember it.
I love my New York home. Its diversity inspires me. I would not for the world trade my multitude of experiences there.