I was in my early twenties when the Earthquake happened, making my living as a limo driver while I attended SFSU. I had a job that day to drive a Hollywood film executive and his grandson to see the World Series game at Candlestick. I dropped them at the ticket gate and told them I would pick them up at that same spot after the game.
20 minutes after I dropped them off, the earthquake hit. I was actually sitting in the back of the limo, watching the pre-game on the TV when it felt like I had been hit by another car. I jumped out of the limo, all fired up to confront whoever had just hit my car and was stunned: all the cars in the lot were bouncing up and down. It was like a low-rider convention!
The game was cancelled and people started to leave. It was still light out and I was actually surprised at how smoothly people seemed to get out of the stadium. Everyone was pretty cool about it, but— I couldn’t find my people! I later learned that the exec had panicked and grabbed the first ride he could get. However, I stayed there until 9:00 that night — I refused to leave until I knew they weren’t there.
I remember driving down 3rd Street that night and thinking it resembled a scene from “Escape from New York”. Lots of tough characters out in the street along with the occasional trash can fire, but all was well. Made it home to Noe Valley without incident and spent the rest of the evening at the Rat & Raven commiserating with the neighbors.