October 17th is an important day in Bay Area history.
Today, 27 years ago, the San Andreas fault shifted and created the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake that changed my life (and thousands of others') forever. My hometown of Watsonville was hit very hard. Most of the historic downtown buildings were destroyed. In fact, I was in the bakery shown in the bottom photo just 20 minutes before it hit. That entire building was later demolished due to major structural problems. The department store, Ford's was also damaged beyond repair.
Thankfully, besides a big mess and lots of broken dishes my family was ok. My dad was stranded in Santa Cruz and had to hitch a ride home in the back of a pick-up truck! We didn't have power for a few days and spent the evening of the 17th camping out in the backyard with neighbors and our grandparents. Needless to say, October 17th conjures lots of memories.
Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5