My last memories of Darwin
I was a Pan American Airlines flight attendent who married a taxie driver in living in Darwin in 1970.
We enjoyed the "wild west" feel of the town, its fun activites, the balls, and made life long friends.
We also built 2 sandwich shops, one in the city and the other in Winnellie. I'm told the one shop is still there.
We were warned it was coming, but if you have never experienced a storm, you have no idea what to really expect. We owned a typical 2 story house on stilts, accross from the race track, that we had just remolded. The sound woke me up around midnight and woke my husband. We put our clothes on and grabbed our 4 month old son and headed for the sliding door to get out of the house whose roof had just blown off.
We felt the stucture turn as we were running down the hallway and then saw the sliding door explode in front of us. Knowing we couldn't stay put, I wondered how I was going to be able to hold on to my son with the winds.
As we stepped outside, the night was like many beautiful nights in Darwin, a slight breeze and lite sprinkling of rain. The eye had turned. A miracle had occured.
We quickly ran down the flight of stairs and got into our station wagon parked under the house, where we stayed for 5 hours. The car was lifing up all night long.
We left for Adalaid by car 2 days later and stayed with a kind family who took in these refugees. I cannot express my gratitude for the kindess of all Australians who offered us so much when we were all in shock and not knowing how we were going to move forward with our lives. We were so lucky in so many ways.
Our family moved back to the U.S. and grew our family. We had a wonderful life together, but unfornately my husband passed away 5 years ago. The memory of that night was always close by knowing how vunerable one is when the forces of nature let loose.