I was living on Summit Road in Los Gatos with my grandmother. She and I had run into Scotts Valley to the store which used to be Zonotto’s.
I remember walking down the aisle with cheese on my right and diapers on my left. There was a huge supporting beam running through the middle of the isle and I remember watching things start to jiggle. I thought at first it was just the fridge from the cheese but my grandmother said “Whoops!” and we backed up against the supporting beam with diapers behind us.. If I looked to my right there was the milk.. what a mess! and to the left was the alcohol.. oh god the smell.. and it shook so hard, panels fell from the ceiling, and the huge industrial shelving was tipping over in some aisles.
As I glanced from under my grandmother’s arms at the floor I remember this bump moving down the aisle towards the front of the store as the windows shattered in front, just like you’d see on a cartoon when bugs bunny runs from a quake.. lol
Two aisles down a woman with her infant were screaming because one of the shelves had fallen on the cart the baby was in, brand new baby too, but not a scratch or bruise on her.. they were sooo lucky! And another aisle down a man had his leg trapped under a shelf.. finally when it seemed like it was never going to stop, and I could just barely still feel the rolling I finally let my emotions get to me and I screamed for help! They came running to help, and we all helped each other out of the store, probably 50 or more of us and the managers went back in to check through the store, and grab all the precooked food from the deli and they doled it out to us and we had a nice warm dinner.
Later on they let us know that the shelter down the street was opening up at the middle school and we all went there for the night. I’ll never forget that day. I was 10. It was the scariest day of my life. I pray I never have to go through that again. Or at least if I do, that both my children are by my side like my grandmother was for me.
By Corrine Chrisco