My first and only earthquake

I am fortunate to have experienced only one earthquake in my life. Years ago, I wrote about the three best compliments that I have ever received.

The first came on January 1, 1988 when I was sixteen years old. I was standing on a bridge in California, strapped to a bass drum, ready to march in the Rose Bowl Parade. Two teenage girls were sitting on the curb nearby, waiting for the parade to start. After giggling a bit, they managed to get my attention and tell me that I looked a lot like Tom Cruise.

I was clearly better looking in 1988, and Tom Cruise had not yet lost his mind, and we are the same height.

More importantly, I had one of those weird marching band hats on that probably made my enormous head appear normally sized, at least when compared to my fellow band mates.

marching band hat

What I did not mention in that original post was that a few minutes prior to that compliment, Pasadena experienced a very minor earthquake. Being from New England, it felt like the quake of all quakes, even though I was later told that had I not been standing on a bridge, it was likely that I would have never felt it at all.

A very less than average tumbler by California standards.

It may also explain the compliment that the girls offered me that day.  Perhaps the earthquake had knocked their heads together, causing them to be momentarily concussed and slightly delusional.