Thursday, August 15, 2019

Highway 41 Fire Student Video

Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Today I had lunch in San Luis Obispo with my junior high school history mentor Mike Burrell. He was one of those special teachers who left an indelible impression upon me and encouraged my early interest in history. Life took my down a series of unexpected detours so the fruit of his labors with me did not begin blossoming until my 40s when I picked up an AA degree in History at Cuesta College and a BA in History at CAL POLY SLO. Given that today was the 25th anniversary of the Big Blow-Up of the Highway 41 on Day Two of its existence, and I had to drive right through the burn scare of the fire going to San Luis Obispo and back again, it seemed like a perfect coda to this day that Mr. Burrell revealed to me that in 1995 his classes at Oak Hills High School in Atascadero for the first anniversary of the event had created a video documentary about the fire centered around various local video footage taken by local residents and firefighters of the historic conflagration. He also gave me a photocopy of an article in the local SLO Tribune about the video. He has loaned me his copy of the documentary on disc which I am going to copy and upload to Youtube and share on this blog very soon I hope.

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