Friday, July 9, 2010

Rich Powell & The Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill

Rich Powell & his brothers: The Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill
Did you know that Emergency Drills used to take place at the Smoke Rise Tower? That's what Rich Powell described in a comment he left on Tom Kline's post about The Smoke Rise Tower and Kitty Ann Mountain.

More specifically, Rich wrote:

Great story, thanks! I have fond memories of playing around the tower with Tommy Swanson. His family was actually not the frozen food Swansons but instead, the owners of Thomas' English Muffins back then!

I recall an emergency responders drill in the 70s in which the scenario was that a passenger plane had hit the tower and the "wounded and dead" were scattered in a path down the mountain. We had quite a few volunteers playing dead and wounded on Ridge Road. As a kid on a bike, it was a blast riding around and watching the chaos!

Wow! I remember taking part in emergency drills in the late 70s when I volunteered at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC. I had no idea they were also taking place in residential areas!

I was so intrigued that I asked Rich to share details. I was also curious about where he had landed after Kinnelon.

Rich Powell and his brothers - pictured above, from left to right: Rich, Dave, Bob and Bill - lived off of Ridge Rd. Terrace in Smoke Rise from 1968 to 1979. His brother Dave was good friends with Tom Kline.

CB: Rich, you say that this drill scenario had a plane crashing into the Smoke Rise Tower! That must have been wild!

Rich:  It was amazing. Some folks went all out, hanging from rooftops, missing heads. I remember one of the Babcock kids made it look like he was missing a leg and had used an actual roast beef or something disgusting for the stump! Crazy.

CB: Geez! What a scene! I wish there were photos... 

Rich: What I'd give to have photos from the event. I distinctly remember a load of "corpses" on the lawn of Erik Hanson (who eventually became a major league pitcher for the Mariners) and specifically the guy with the roast beef on his leg (one of the Babcock boys from the corner of Hilltop and Underhill). Yeccch!

CB: You now live in Asheboro, NC. How did you make your way there from Kinnelon?

Rich: By the time we moved from Smoke Rise, my oldest brother Bob was already out of the house, working at a hospital having returned from a year working as a ranch hand in Wyoming.  Dave was living in Colorado, attending College with his high school sweetheart, Nancy Woerner from Fayson Lakes.

My brother Bill and I accompanied my folks to the SF Bay Area where I finished up high school and Bill attended Berkeley. I eventually joined the Marines and when finished with that, went to art school where I met my future wife. We lived for many years in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite, working on computer games, painting and freelance illustration. My brother Bob moved from Jersey to NC sometime in the early 80s. My folks ended up here in the Carolinas in 1991 followed by my brother Dave after the tragic passing of his wife, Nancy. We followed suit in 1995, bringing our daughter Bailey along. Bill lives south of LA.

CB: Rich, thanks for sharing those details about the Smoke Rise Tower Emergency Drill and your journey to Asheboro. 

I encourage you to visit the Rich Powell Illustration website which is full of marvelous images and illustrations many of which you will recognize from publications, greeting cards, book jackets, magazine covers, children's books, national advertising campaigns and Mad Magazine.  Rich's work ranges from traditional to digital media, from watercolor and ink - including large scale acrylic paintings available in Greensboro galleries - to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop... and I'm sure a few other things in between!

Rich, I particularly like those photos of your studio with its view.  Those woods remind me Kinnelon and Smoke Rise!

By the way, according to Smoke Rise's Christine Bell, emergency drills have also taken place at the Smoke Rise Beach. I wouldn't be surprised if others took place in Fayson Lakes and elsewhere in Kinnelon.

Have you participated in emergency drills in Kinnelon or Smoke Rise? Do you have pictures? Or recollections? Please do share!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...