I have a pair of red flip-flops that are shoved somewhere in the back of a closet that I never use. I was wearing them one morning in 1991 when Mt. Pinataubo erupted near our home in Angeles City in the Philippines. My husband, who was in the Air Force, our son (then age 18 months) and myself were forced to evacuate the city , leaving behind our home, cats, car and almost everything we owned. My husband stayed with his military unit and I left with Liam (our son) to make my way back to the States. I had a diaper bag, the clothes on my back, the red flip-flops on my feet and really not much else beside my son and our passports. It took me 13 days to get to the States and I’ve never been back to the Philippines. My (now ex) husband was able to take video of our house being engulfed and washed away by the boiling mud flow from the volcano. I am still amazed that a 20 peso (about $1.00) pair of flip-flops lasted throughout all that.
Tags: escape, home, volcano
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.