Saturday, April 20, 2019

Yesterday was the anniversary of the OKC bombing,

and I was thinking about it.  Had some connection to the events; nothing heroic.

The place I worked had two drops at that building, and they both went offline at the same time.  After a couple of minutes tried calling; couldn't get through.  No big deal, wouldn't be the first time someone screwing around in a building's phone room caused problems.

Few minutes later a guy from next door stuck his head around and said there were reports of an explosion downtown.  Again, no panic; first thought was that if it was an explosion, probably a boiler.  About ten years before the boiler at a school had blown, causing fatalities and damage.

Few minutes later guy stuck his head around again and said "Turn on your tv!"  We did, and oh, crap.

Some people in the hallways said they'd heard a rumble, but we heard nothing.

It got rather busy after that.

One of the things that I was occupied with was trying to contact the headquarters for the two agencies mentioned, and I discovered that some asshole had decided that since all that contact information was available online, we didn't need that ORI directory anymore and had tossed it.  By the time that day was done, if he'd shown up I'd have beaten him with a trash can; just because it was 'available' that way didn't mean all the info in that manual was online in an easily-searchable form(still some bugs in the system).  Finally found what I thought was the right ones, sent messages in case this hadn't hit their news yet, and after that it was rather busy in some ways, quiet in others.  Odd day.

The next day, it started raining, so it was cleanup and still hoping for rescues with that cold rain coming down.  If you've not seen any of the news reports from all that, the response was kind of overwhelming to a lot of the rescue people.  For instance, someone mentioned on a news report that the people with S&R dogs needed jerky treats and such.  Within an hour there was a line hundreds of yards long at the 'here's where you can contribute stuff' site with jerky treats, and jerky, and dog treats of every kind, and dog food.  When the S&R was over, there was so much that a lot of it was given to animal rescue sites; one of the teams from California said they'd never seen such a response, and the part of the stuff they could take back would keep their dogs fed for a year.  One of the assorted S&R people said they could use multi-tools like a Leatherman; within the day every store for a hundred miles was sold out and they were on the way to OKC.  And so on. 

There was an interview with the Governor, and some news weenie asked about any problems with looting, the response was "We're all too busy for that to be a problem" as I recall.  Unspoken was that anybody caught looting in the damage area would've been lucky if the only thing that happened was winding up in a cell, as nobody was in a mood to put up with such bullshit.

And the media... A lot of the 'Fuck the media' attitude in this area started, or got beyond being generally annoyed, by the actions of some of these idiots.  Someone from ABC/NBC/CBS/whoever would show up expecting to have their ass kissed and their every desire attended to, and were really upset to be told that wasn't going to happen.  Without going into details a lot of EMS and fire department people after things settled were wearing shirts that, on the back, said "Hey, Connie Chung**: Bite Me".  She'd been such a huge PITA she was lucky not to have been told to get her stupid ass back to New York or wherever.  And that was one of them.

A while later, while the cleanup and investigation was still going on*, the head of my division came in and handed me a commendation for that day.  I was kind of puzzled, because all I'd done was the job.  Said something of the kind and asked what else was I going to do, go home?  Apparently that's exactly what they'd been worried about, people saying "Some nuts are blowing up government buildings?  I'm leaving."  I have to admit to either being dumb or just unthinking, as it never occurred to me.

That's a short version of that day from my point of view.


Jason Tyler said...

I was working an internship at Saint Francis in Tulsa that day. Every tv in the hospital was tuned to the the news. Within a few hours every Dr., nurse, and PA who could be spared was on their way to Oklahoma City. In one day the life of the whole state was changed.

Gromit said...

I lost a friend there that day, not how you expect a stateside assignment to turn out.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Speaking of msm weenies that whinny asian gal chen/chun whatever from the major network stepped out of her limo upon arriving and stated about the heat. I loved it how not to much later she was out of a job. The Okies are a hidden treasure and incredible human beings. Grew up in Okc was on jury duty in Tulsa. Watched the full day report in the jury pool room as I had not been called up. Did not know any of the victims which amazes me today. My parents went down in the following days and served sandwiches to the workers. So many wonderful reports came out even years later. Proud to be an Okie.