St. Helens: Forty stories for the 40th anniversary

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A sophomore at Washington State University, Laurie Lindblad photographed her classmates — (from left) Nancy Erickson, Debbie Cox, Sandi Sylvester and Lena Vanderhouwen — as they donned protective “ash clothes and masks” to venture from their dormitory to the dining hall. Pullman grocery stores, she says, “ran out of two things very quickly: bread and beer.” (Laurie Lindblad)
Forty stories for the 40th anniversary

Most of these stories originated via the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center. These were edited by us and are presented in alphabetical order.

Click the links below to read the stories. Some are short, some are quite long. Ten stories are illustrated with photos. One (#24) even includes an audio recording of the eruption!

— Jean Sherrard and Clay Eals

  1. A stolen, handmade grandfather’s clock,” by K. Ammons
  2. Like a lot of hairspray on everyone’s head,” by Ginger Andersen (then Hartel)
  3. Insane night in an Ellensburg dorm,” by Jeff Anderson
  4. Thicker and thicker, darker and darker,” by Robert Arleth
  5. Like a still picture, too large,” by Les Atlas
  6. Remember reading about Pompeii?” by Keith Bilodeau
  7. Birds flying, some dying,” by Randy Brawley (PHOTOS)
  8. Clean Up the Great Northwest,” by Doris Brevoort (PHOTO)
  9. Good timing that day,” by Lisa Perry (then Clark)
  10. Like black-and-white TV,” by April Cohrs
  11. Outrunning St. Helens,” by Kathleen Coleman (PHOTOS)
  12. Paying attention after a ho-hum attitude,” by Beth Cross (PHOTOS)
  13. Don’t touch the car,” by Holly Garland
  14. Without warning, visibility straight to zero,” by Ken Giesbers
  15. A dark cloud line with cotton ball-like swirls,” by Cheryl and Doug Hargin
  16. Difficult to be seen in the volcanic debris,” by Stephen Hart
  17. Perhaps the last summit of St. Helens,” by Charlie Hickenbottom (PHOTO)
  18. Like a cannon – in Port Angeles,” by Janet Kailin and Jack Hughes
  19. We thought we were dead,” by John Killeen
  20. Sheets of mud on the windshield,” by Debbie King
  21. Ash clothes turn into costume contest,” by Laurie Lindblad (PHOTOS)
  22. An eerie and quiet summer,” by Tom Maffeo (PHOTO)
  23. Plumes of ash come off with the spray,” by Toni Massey-Wheeler
  24. Unique sounds from 140 miles away,” by Dave Miller
  25. Collapsed roof due to ash weight,” by Mary Minton
  26. Winter wonderland, but hot,” by Patti L. Mitchell (PHOTOS)
  27. A jar of ash in the mail,” by Karin H. Molander
  28. Glad we didn’t go back to Juniper Ridge,” by Michael Mouat
  29. Not among the missing,” by Robert New (PHOTOS)
  30. Far apart from each other, a family reacts,” by Kim Poole, Vicki Moore and Brenda Moore
  31. A sense of awe and respect,” by Roland Ruby
  32. Mud balls falling from the sky,” by Marji Ruzicka
  33. Time in the crater,” by Mike Senchyna
  34. The enormity of destruction, from the air,” by Edward Sims (PHOTO)
  35. The ash piling up like snow,” by Jayne Farquharson Stallons
  36. Graceful, inspiring, enigmatic, self-destructive,” by David Swinford
  37. The greatest story of our careers,” by Dan Tolva
  38. Cleaning after steam-cleaning,” by Pat Turner
  39. You could feel the hair on your arms,” by Bill Varner
  40. Like a cannon – in Bellingham,” by Karen Weber

BONUS: “Ash launches a once-in-a-lifetime trip,” by Clay Eals (PHOTOS)

(Click here to get back to the Mount St. Helens home page.)

Now & then here and now…

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