A Rare Find: 1980 Souvenir Mt St Helens Volcanic Ash From Yakima
It's hard to believe that May 18th of this year, will mark the 41st anniversary of the 1980 Eruption of Mount Saint Helens. For those of us around then, it is a day which we will never forget, that's for sure. Depending upon where you were living, your memories will be marked by just how much volcanic ash you were inundated with.
I was 18 years old, living in Wenatchee, with less than a month to go before finishing High School. It was a Sunday morning and I had a prankster-friend of mine call me, waking me up from a teenage stupor, and yell 'Brian, the Russians nuked Seattle!'
Now, everyone was aware that Mt. St, Helens was due to blow any time, but nobody really knew just what to expect, in terms of fallout and ash trajectory. Secondly, I was in the aforementioned teenage haze, groggy, and didn't really have time to process much before my friend then said: "Dude, look outside.......it's a nuclear winter!"
I know the eruption took place around 8:30 that morning and I'm not sure how long it took for ash fallout to reach Wenatchee but when I looked out the window and saw that it was dark, around Noon, with ash-like debris floating past the window, I believed, for a moment, what my friend had said about the Russian attack was true. After all, I had just registered for the draft, President Carter was boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympics and Cold War tensions were high (I might have been too, but that's another story).
My sister lived in Seattle at the time and so of course, I started to panic - which is when my comical comrade busted out laughing and explained what had actually happened. Wenatchee was far enough North to not experience the amount of ash that other areas suffered.
Here in Yakima, residents were hit very hard and everything came to a screeching halt. I know there were certainly many who had the foresight and entrepreneurial spirit to gather up as much of the powdered menace as possible and sell it in various forms as keepsakes and souvenirs. I used to have an 'ash tray' allegedly made from 100% authentic Mt. St, Helens Ash which had fallen in Spokane. I have no idea whether or not it was real or fake and I likewise have no idea where the heck it is. I haven't seen it since several 'moves' ago.
That's why this item I found on eBay recently is kind of fun. Whether you were there or not, you can have a piece of the fallout now, with this handy souvenir sample of real Mt. St. Helens ash from the 1980 eruption, scooped up right here in Yakima.
Vintage 1980 Mount St Helens Volcano Ash Yakima WA Souvenir Packet
Pre-owned, Vintage 1980
Souvenir Ashes from Mt. St. Helens
Ashes were picked up from Yakima WA
Item is authentic 1980, not current production.
Pictures are of the actual ashes and info packet.
Examine all pictures,
FREE Shipping to the US. Thank you for looking, please view my other odd items.
Actually, I haven't done any selling or buying on eBay in years, but I see that this seller is quite successful and has a perfect 5-star rating, which is encouraging.
So, if this type of memorabilia is your thing - this might be a good option for you. Oh, and by the way, the price was listed at under $15.00 so it won't break the bank either.