About My Ancestors · Humor

Laughter and Superstition During an Earthquake

Though Thomas Jones was born in Australia, my Grandma swore that he was a typical Irish man.  I don’t know where his parents were born, so I’ll have to take my Grandma’s word for it.  He married into an Irish family.  Perhaps it wore off on him.

On the fateful morning of 18th of April 1906 near five in the morning, my Great Grandmother Margaret (Jones) Jackson was getting breakfast ready for the family.  She tended to her baby, John, just a couple of weeks old.  Her husband, Harry Jackson, and her father, Thomas Jones, were off getting ready for the work day.

At 5:12 am, an earthquake hit the city of San Francisco.  Pandemonium struck the neighborhood where my relatives lived.  Houses crumbled, streets cracked, people screamed in pain and terror.

Inside the Jackson Jones household, Margaret scrambled to get everyone out the door.  She grabbed the baby and was ready to leave when she noticed her father was missing.

She ran back to his bedroom and opened the door.  There was Thomas holding a gigantic vanity mirror.  Margaret yelled at him to hurry before the house fell down on their heads.  Thomas looked at her in despair, “Maggie, if I drop this mirror it will bring me seven years bad luck!”

Margaret just shook her head.  She helped her father find a safe place for the mirror, and ran out the door.

While mayhem brewed across San Francisco, my Great Great Grandfather was stuck in his bedroom trying to decide if he should run for his life and risk seven years bad luck or save that mirror and wait it out!

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