The LuLac Edition #1219, June 26h, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: OUR INTERVIEW LOGO.
This week marked the 38th anniversary of the Agnes Flood. I had a conversation with a flood victim who had just graduated high school.
Q: ’72 Grad. Me too.
Q: St. John the Evangelist in Pittston.
A: Huh, Central Catholic.
Q: Both schools, gone.
Q: Where we you on June 23rd?
A: I was working at Fowler Dick and Walker for the summer. Then I was going to go to Ithaca for the fall semester.
Q: What was that day like?
A: Well the whole week was really, really wet. It poured rain and that river kept on rising.
Q: Where did you live?
A: Third Avenue.
Q: When did you evacuate?
A: The night before. We went to relatives in Dallas. We thought we were covered because we put everything on the second floor. It didn’t matter.
Q: Was your home wrecked?
A: Completely. I thought my mom was going to die of a broken heart. But she hung in there and we did some rebuilding. My sister and I actually had a hard time selling the property a few years ago when my parents were both gone.
A: The rebuilding of their lives, their home was a testament to their generation.
Q: After the flood what was your life like?
A: Well I quit the store because I got a job with the contractors cleaning up houses. The money was good but I worked like a dog. I actually went to school for the winter semester. So economically my life was better. My parents were very, very tense. Worried about money. I never saw that before. There was real fear in their lives after the Flood. It changed them.
Q: You like politics, did the flood help shape your political life?
A: Big time. My parents were staunch Democrats but they thought Nixon was the man after he visited. Even during Watergate, they were for him.
Q: And Dan Flood?
A: My dad to the day he died had this old campaign button with a big mustache on it that simply said “Dan”. Never got rid of it.
Q: Best memory of the flood?
A: The way people pulled together. That impressed me because before the flood, our neighborhood was pretty insular. But tragedy is a great equalizer. When my mom and dad passed, even people who had not moved back came to their wakes. On a less serious note, I loved when the Stegmaier Brewery started giving out chilled canned water to flood victims. Maybe it was the fact that it tasted so damn cold and I was so damn hot that summer, I don’t know. But I still think of that every time I see a can of beer.
Q: Worst memory?
A: The smell, the mud, the dirt and my girlfriend dumped me that summer because I just wasn’t around.
Q: Do you regret that? Do you see that as a casualty of the flood?
A: You’re kidding me, right?
Q: Just asking.
A: I think she married a mailman or something.
Q: Well, rain, sleet, and snow and all that stuff.
A: Yeah but not a flood. Not like that one man.
Q: It will live on in everyone’s memory that was involved.
A: It will live on in infamy.