So I’m in the library recharging my phone so I can catch Pokemon all the way to @spacerobotcrew’s place, and this book about Mt. St. Helens was on the New Nonfiction display. You may have noticed the ash from St. Helens in my Burke Museum photodump, but if not, here it is again.
Normally I wouldn’t post about some random book about some random natural disaster that happened before I was born. Except, you see, my first botfriend’s dad is in this one.
From the ages of 14 to almost 17, I was in a highly dysfunctional abusive relationship with the child of a highly dysfunctional family. Said boyfriend’s dad had been drafted into Vietnam and had to leave college to go murder people in the jungle. When he got back, he had a total mental breakdown and didn’t finish his degree and at the time I knew him, worked as a janitor. He has the paranoid flavor of PTSD, and had a tendency to want to go to things he think will be a big deal to take pictures. You bet that during the WTO protests, he was in downtown Seattle with his camera.
Anyway, flash back to May 1980. He hears the mountain is about to explode. What does he do? Takes his wife and 10 year old child (my ex’s older brother), and enlists a photographer friend of his to go camping on the mountain to take pictures when it erupted. Thing is, being paranoid, he didn’t want his name attached to the photos so he gave all the credit to the photographer, Gary Rosenquist. But really, the whole thing was his idea.
Anyway, he’s actually in this book. Only two pages, but here they are. Wow! What the book doesn’t mention is the huge legal battle my ex’s dad had with the photographer over copyright, how Rosenquist ran off with his wife, and how his 10 year old kid who was on the freaking mountain when it exploded was super traumatized.
Back in 2000, we all went to the mountain for the 20th anniversary of the eruption: me, my ex, his older brother, and his dad. It was really interesting to hear about the eruption from their perspective.