Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mt. St. Helens Harry Truman's Spirit Lives On

It was 30 years ago today that Mt. St. Helens blew up in the one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in recorded history.

Mt. St. Helens had been active for months, leading up to the eruption.

There were restrictions placed on access to the area around Mt. St. Helens.

But it was not a strictly enforced situation.

Harry Truman had a lodge on Spirit Lake in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens. Harry refused to leave his lodge, choosing to ignore the warnings about the danger. Harry did not want to leave the place where his wife was buried and where his 16 cats called home.

Harry Truman sort of came to be an iconic symbol for the people of the Pacific Northwest. His stubbornness was widely admired. I know I liked the ol' coot.

Sometime after 8, that Sunday morning, 30 years ago, May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens suddenly seemed to turn elastic, swelling. And then exploding. Harry Truman, his cats, Spirit Lake and his lodge were buried under a wall of ash, rock and debris.

No remains of Harry Truman, his cats or his lodge were ever found. A new lake has formed where Spirit Lake used to be.

Harry Truman is remembered in various ways in Washington, including in the video and song below. It made me melancholy.....

1 comment:

Steve A said...

Well said. I remember Harry well from reports of the time.