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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Boom goes Danvers....

I am in Thanksgiving break mode these days, shifting to a schedule that provides the option of getting up to read in the middle of the night and spending my days in my dungeon office. The difference this year is that my "shift" began with a "bang" -- literally.

On Tuesday evening I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I went to bed early -- about 9 or 10 PM -- and found myself awake and ready to read at 2:30 AM. At first I sat and contemplated how to make the maneuver out of bed so as not to disturb my spouse who worked (as is usual these days) on a project well past midnight. It took a few minutes for me start my moves in the dark from the bed to the reading chair nearby, and just as I sat down I heard a huge blast that sounded like an explosion in the house or something quite big falling in the attic right above my head.

Since the ceiling was not falling on me and since my wife did not even flinch, my first thought was that this was one hell of a head cold I was developing. Sitting in silence and contemplating my sanity, I waited to see or hear any movements that would reduce my anxiety about going quite mad -- perhaps some movement in the street that would indicate (as I began to think) that some nearby home oil tank might have blown up.

Finally -- and thankfully -- I heard my son moving about outside our room confirming that it was not in my head -- that there was indeed some huge explosion in or near the house. But explore as we might, there was not a sign of anything -- and our neighbors did not seem to be in trouble or even wandering about their homes as we were. Only our lights seemed to be on, and traffic at 3AM was nil....

Next morning our daughter (who lives about a mile away) calls to ask if we saw the news -- huge explosion at 2:46 AM at ink plant about 3 or 4 miles away in Danversport area. As it turns out, lots of property destruction from equivalent of 2000 pound bomb, and miraculously no deaths and only a handful of injuries. Helicopters and news reports all day showed that it was clearly quite an event, and one of my wife's close friends (see comments by Holly Gould in story here) found herself looking up at the sky from bed as a result. Her home and cars are lost, and her cats have gone missing -- but she survived and we are learning more about just how major this near tragedy was.

Quite a way to start the holiday break....

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