I, like wally428
, was in Brevard County, Florida
, but a few miles further south. Due east of Melbourne, FL
is a small community called Indian Harbour Beach. Back in the mid-1980's there was a Super-X grocery store located on A1A
, overlooking the beach. I was working the express lane
cash register that cold, fateful morning. The storefront windows had only been cleaned of the ocean's salty spray an hour before the launch. Above the dunes the sun glinted from the tops of foamy sea-green waves. People began lining the front store window. Those better able to withstand the bracing winds sought vantage points at the edge of the parking lot.
Across from my register at the customer service desk a small television was tuned to one of the live local broadcasts. Machines beeped, orders were bagged, change was tendered. All was normal.
A mother bundled her two young children back into their jackets.
All eyes skyward, cheers and laughter arose from the spectators.
It didn't last long.
"Oh My God!!!"
a voice cried.
I watched in stunned silence as the single, long cloud of vapor exploded into a ball of fire, yielding two swirling tendrils of smoke around an amoeba-like vision of falling debris. All activity in the store ceased.
Did what I think just happened really just happen?
Maybe it was a form of denial
, but I started to chuckle nervously.
Regardless, this is one of those events that shall be forever etched in my memory.