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It Was A Sunday

May 18, 2022

There are savants who, if you tell them a date from history, can tell you what day of the week the date fell on.

I’m not that smart. I only know one.

Forty-two years ago, May 18th fell on a Sunday.

I’m reminded of it every year. I was 15 years old. I was living in Lacey, Washington. And we, my brother and I, were headed to church that morning.

That morning Mount Saint Helens blew 1300 feet off it’s top. The ash cloud was visible from miles. Which is good because we lived about 150 miles north or the mountain. Looking south we could see the ash cloud billowing thousands of feet into the air. And it then drifted toward the east. All across Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana and more were covered with ash. Despite being as close as we were, the ash didn’t hit our town until the ash made it’s way all the way around the world.

The eruption on May 18 was surprising, but not unexpected. The experts knew an eruption was imminent. But, even with warnings, not everyone was willing to leave. In fact, one old man named Harry Truman insisted he would never leave. He lived in a cabin on the mountain. And he had a generous supply of whisky.

Harry was no doubt killed instantly when the mountain went up.

I’ve thought about Harry over the years. He was old. He knew he would probably die when the mountain blew up. But, he just literally didn’t seem to care. He would rather die on his mountain than live anywhere else.

Do I care about something that much? Certainly not about where I live. But, I think there may be things that I would die for. My family? Sure. Defending the innocent? I’d like to think so.

Are there beliefs that I would die for?

I don’t know. Again, I’d like to think so, but then, we are all the hero of our own story.

Anyway, happy Mt Saint Helens anniversary day. . .even if I’m the only one who celebrates it.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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