The ‘crack­ling’ quake

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Opinion -

The big earth­quake we had here in Te­hachapi last Fri­day, July 5, 2019 brought back fond mem­o­ries of the 1971 Syl­mar earth­quake.

At that time we were liv­ing on East Av­enue J in Lan­caster, and our fa­vorite ra­dio sta­tion was KMPC 710 AM out of Los An­ge­les. The “Morn­ing Man” on KMPC was a disc jockey named Dick Whit­tinghill and his mu­sic pro­gram started at 6 a.m., which was the same time I had my alarm set to get up and get ready for work.

KMPC would also change their broad­cast sig­nal from night­time strength (low) to day­time strength (high) at that same time, and Whit­tinghill would kick his pro­gram off ev­ery morn­ing at that time with a rous­ing, up­beat record­ing.

So on Fe­bru­ary 9, 1971 at 6:09 a.m., the power was up, the Syl­mar earth­quake started, and Whit­tinghill started his pro­gram by play­ing Neil Di­a­mond’s hit record­ing of “Crack­ling Rosie.”

We were hang­ing onto the bed for dear life as the earth­quake bounced us across the bed­room to those rol­lick­ing lyrics. The earth­quake seemed to go on for­ever, but it prob­a­bly only lasted for a half a minute or so. We were very re­lieved when the shak­ing stopped and the re­main­der of the lyrics to that great song helped calm us down and get us ready to re­sume our nor­mal rou­tine on a day that started out not at all nor­mal or rou­tine. Wil­bur W. Wells


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