Six-year-old awed but not scared

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I was 6 years old when Mount St. Helens blew. I remember going to church in Hockinson that Sunday morning. The pastor was trying to give his sermon. No one was listening to him. He finally gave up and said, "Let's all go outside, since that's where you all want to be, anyway."

We all stood around outside in awe of the ash cloud, talking and wondering how long it would last. I don't remember being very scared.

Later, we drove around trying to get a better view of the mountain. I remember my dad scraping ash off our roof and sidewalks, which we kept in a large bucket for many years.

I remember being fascinated by the "old man" Harry Truman, who refused to leave the mountain. Over the years, my dad and I will call each other on May 18th and say, "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"

My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones that day. We remember you in thoughts and prayers.