Tuesday, May 18, 2010
With all due respect to geologist David A. Johnston and National Geographic photojournalist Reid Blackburn, probably the most famous victim of the destruction wrought by Mount St. Helens was the keeper of the St. Helens Lodge at nearby Spirit Lake, Harry R. Truman. In the two months prior to the eruption, the 83 year-old Truman became something of a minor celebrity the world over for his determination to remain in his home despite its proximity to the danger zone, at the foot of the mountain. Convinced that the threat of eruption was overexaggerated, he famously stated: 'If the mountain goes, I'm going with it.' Both Truman and the lodge he loved were buried under 46 m (150 feet) of ash and rubble on this day in 1980...
The subject of the book Truman of St. Helens: The Man & His Mountain written by Shirley Rosen, he was later played by Art Carney in the 1981 docu-drama film St. Helens, and had the song Harry Truman written and recorded by Irish band Headgear in his honour. Now the spirit of Spirit Lake, the region's revitalized wilderness are criss-crossed by Truman Trail and Harry's Ridge, which were named for him.
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