Friday, July 27, 2007

Remembering the Flood

I'm excited about continuing to work with my class blogs this fall, but in the mean time I've been able to do some traveling and get some writing done. I did some freelance work for Health and Wellness Magazine this summer, but I was also very happy to get a piece of creative non-fiction published.

During the flood of 1997 I happened to be working at a pizza shop right next to the Johnson Mobile Home park that was destroyed, killing five women and destroying dozens of homes. I was deeply emotionally affected by what I witnessed that night and wrote down some of my memories. Then last year I brought out what I had written and prepared it for the Writing Project's author's chair. This year, for the ten-year anniversary of the flood, I submitted it to the Coloradoan and they published it as part of their coverage of the anniversary of the flood. If you'd like to read it, you can find it here.

I'll also be on 600 KCOL tomorrow, Saturday the 29th at 7:00 am, to talk about the flood. For those who weren't here ten years ago, it'll be a good opportunity to learn about this sad chapter in the history of the city and for those who were it'll be a chance to look back on the tragedy ten years later. There are a lot of stories to tell, and a lot of myths and misconceptions that still linger which I hope I'll be able to address.


Rebecca said...


What an incredible experience and a fantastic piece!

At the time of the flood I was a student at CU, but was in town visiting my parents who live on the east side of town. That evening we were baffled by phone calls from friends and relatives from across the country calling to check on us as it was just a normal rainstorm on our side of town. A few miles can make an incredible difference.

Good luck with the radio show! I'll try to tune in.

Natalie said...

Kudos on the publishing. (I also had two articles accepted to School Arts this summer and another by Journeys magazine.) I remember the flood of '97 as the first time I left my 16 year old son home alone while my husband and I went out of town. We live a block from Edora park. My son walked down the hill to the video store, past the Fort Collins club (on the spring creek trail where one of the bodies was recovered) as the water was rising. He was in the video store as water started coming in. He walked back on the trail but made it home safely. I found out about it the morning after when a friend of mine commented about the deaths at lunch. I called my son and he had just gotten back from the park where he had taken his kayak to "surf" a wave created by a sofa. Add to that the fact that he had had foot surgery 2 days before so he also had an open wound - believe me it made me think twice about ever leaving my son alone again! EEK! Although I didn't experience the flood firsthand, it did hit close to home.

respo said...

I missed the radio show because I just logged on today. That is a bummer. I am going to read your piece in a moment, but I wanted to make sure I said Congrats - that is really exciting. The flood happened a couple of years before I was here and when I heard about it I found it hard to believe. It will be interesting to read your experience.

Cindy O-A said...

Cool! I remember hearing you read this in Authors, Chair, and I'm glad you submitted this. The flood happened before we moved to Fort Collins, but this story brings the legend to life in striking ways.