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Hearts of L.A. / How the Quake Rocked Our Spirits and Changed Our Lives : COPING WITH CHAOS : 'Every time I go inside, I think it's the last time.'

January 30, 1994|Nancy Hardin | Hardin is an independent producer in Santa Monica. and

When the quake hit, my next-door neighbor ran out naked with just her daughter's leather jacket on. I had on thongs and my nightgown. We went down to the ocean, where things wouldn't fall on us. There were a lot of homeless people sleeping there, but none of them woke up. For once, we kind of envied them.

The people I was with wanted to get to a phone to call their parents. We went to their friends' house very near by. I sat there with total strangers, drinking cappuccino and eating birthday cake in a million-dollar house. Then I went home.

I'd left in the dark. It was worse than I thought.

I have a three-story condominium. The top story is my office. I work there full-time. It's no more. Everything fell--scripts, files, folders, endless amounts of books, all the televisions. I'd just bought a new CD player; I played it once and it's history.

I hired two men for five hours Tuesday and it took them that long to find the office phones, which were off the hook and completely buried.

Now I have my office in my car. I took the fax and the word processor and the files I could find and the Filofax. My chimney is going to go any minute, so every time I go inside, I think it's the last time in there.

But there are so many people much worse off. I'm a goal-oriented person, so my main complaint is that I don't know what to do. Once I can figure out what to do, I'll be OK.

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