1964: William’s Supreme Twenty-Four Hours

Christine Kim, guest writer

Five more minutes. William said to himself, turning off the alarm.


“William, come quick! Today is the day!” Sarah shouted, William’s mom, who is working


as a nurse.


“William, wake up! If you don’t come down, I’m gonna devour all of your favorite pop-


tarts right now!” Olivia yelled, William’s sister.


“Do I have to wake you up even though you became 17 years old?” his mom said.


“Oh! Today is the first day of school!” William screamed.


William got up and stretched as high as he could. He rapidly ran downstairs and ate pop-


tarts and cereal as fast as he could.


“Slow down William, you have plenty of time,” his mom said.


“I’m ready Mom, let’s go.”


“Ok, get in the car guys.”


When the car stopped at school, William said, “See you later mom!” as he rushed to


school. “Bye!” Olivia shouted.



“Hey!” Sophia said. No answer. “William!”


“Oh! Long time no see, Sophia!”


“Bro, we just hung out yesterday.”




“Can’t you hear well yet?”


“Yeah. A little bit. Is your arm okay?”


“Oh, I’m fine,” Sophia said. “It’s not that bad compared to your injured arm when you were


in kindergarten.”


“Me? Injured arm?”


“Yeah, don’t you remember?” Sophia said. “You tried to get a chocolate from the top of the


shelf, then you fell down and hurt your arm!”


“Ha, right.”


“I’m gonna be a great nurse like your mom when I grow up.”


“Oh, then help me for free when I get hurt while playing basketball, when I become a


professional basketball player!”


Diiinnggg. “There’s the bell! See ya,” Sophia said.


*   *   *


“I love lunch time!” William said. “Jeffrey! Don’t forget to bring your basketball.”




“Then let’s begin the game!”


“Wait, aren’t you guys gonna eat lunch?” Sophia asked.


“Nothing is as important as playing basketball,” the boys said.


“Okay then, enjoy your important thing.”


*   *   *


After school, William and Sophia walked home. Sophia’s house was two blocks from


William’s house.


“Sophia, did you watch the Winter Olympics?”


“Nope, you know me. I don’t like sports,” Sophia said. “I like parcheesi board game more

than sports.”


“Oh, yeah,” William said. “Actually, I’m not really into Winter Olympics. I’m more into


Summer Olympics.”


“Sure. Because of the basketball game, right?”


“Right,” William replied. “I can’t wait to see the Summer Olympics! I’m sure that Jeff


Mullins will gain more points in the Summer Olympics!”




Suddenly, William stopped with a pale face.


“What is it?”


“It’s a beetle . . . a . . . big beetle . . .”


“William, are you still afraid of insects?”


“I’m not afraid of these small insects! It’s . . . it’s just creepy.”


“Oh, well then.”


“That’s why I don’t like The Beatles. I just don’t like it.”


“Doesn’t Olivia like them?”


“Yep, but I don’t.”


“Make sure you don’t use the word The Beatles in a bad way in front of Olivia!” Sophia


said. “Oh! And don’t forget to pack your stuff for tomorrow’s trip to Alaska!”


“I know. I know. Thanks!”


*   *   *


“Mom! Dad! We’re ready to go on a adventure!” William shouted.


“Wait! I’m still eating!” Olivia said.

“Hurry up, Olivia!”


“Sorry, I’m almost done.”


“Dad, can you fix my Murray? The pedal is not working.”


“Umm . . . I’ll fix it after we come back from Alaska,” Anthony said.




“Let’s go then.”


“Wait, Daddy! I forgot to bring something!” Olivia shouted.


“Is it some beetles thing?” William said.


“Don’t call them beetles! It’s The Beatles! You want me to call you Willy Wonka?”


“Oh, thanks. He’s my favorite character inCharlie and the Chocolate Factory! I wish this


book would come out in a movie soon.”


“Willam, don’t tease your only sister!”


“Sorry, but I’m just . . . okay, Mom.”


“Willam, tell Sophia that we’re leaving right now!” Anthony said.


“I already did!”


“Okay then, let’s go!”


*   *   *


“This is my first time riding in an airplane!” Olivia said. “I’m so excited!”


“Olivia, aren’t you hungry? Here’s a chocolate for you.”


“Hershey’s! Thanks . . . wait . . . is it just the trash? You always give me weird things!”


“No, you don’t trust me? This is a real chocolate.”


“Hahaha, sorry. Thank you so much!”

“Your welcome.”


“It’s really good to see you guys being nice to each other. Thank you guys for your good


behavior,” Sarah said. On the way to Alaska, William and Olivia had an enjoyable time.


“Look at them Anthony, they’re really quiet when they sleep.”


“Is that book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory William is holding?” Anthony asked.


“Yep. He always brings it to everywhere he goes. I’m so glad that he likes it.”


After they arrived in Alaska, William went to the water fountain to drink some water.


When he came out of the airport, he realized that his family was nowhere in sight.


“Hi! Do you need help?” asked a boy, who looked like the same age as William.


“Hi, I just came here for a trip, but I think I lost my family.”


“Oh, really? Is your name William?”


“Why, yes! How did you know? And who are you?”


“Sorry for my late introduce. I’m Robert. Robert Watson. And I think I just met your


family back there. If your name is William, then why don’t you come with me?”


“Thank you so much, Robert!”



“William! I thought I lost you!” Sarah cried.


“Sorry, Mom. But I’m here right now!”


“Robert, thank you so much for finding William for us.”


“No problem. It was good to see you.”


“Where’s your family?”


“Oh, they’re waiting in the car. I came here to pick up someone.”


“Well then. Bye!”


“Bye! Have a great trip!”


“Anthony, can you tell me the phone number of the person that we have to meet?”




“Wait. Is your name Anthony Alvarez?” Robert asked.


“Why, yes.”


“Were you going to call Steven Watson?”


“How did you know?”


“He is my father! And I think I’ve found the family who’s going with me!”




“This is . . . how can . . . oh wow,” William said.


*   *   *


“Welcome to Watson’s house in Anchorage, Alaska! Today we don’t have any schedules, so


relax. But for tomorrow, we will be going out to explore Anchorage,” Steven said.


“And on March 26, we will go to Homer, which is about two hundred and eighteen miles


southwest from here,” (Homer) Susan said, Robert’s mom.


“As you know, earthquakes frequently happen in Alaska,” Steven said. “For more


information, six magnitude 6 to 7 earthquakes per year. Forty five magnitude 5 to 6 earthquakes


per year. Three hundred twenty magnitude 4 to 5 earthquakes per year. An average of a 1,000


earthquakes are located in Alaska each month” (Alaska).


“Mom? Why do the earthquake happen?” Olivia asked.


“Earthquakes take place because tectonic plates are in constant motion, and therefore they

collide with, slide past, and in some cases even slip on top of each other” (Britannica).


“So be ware of the small movements that you feel,” Robert said.


“Okay, we will.”


*   *   *


“What’s that book you’re reading?” Robert asked.


“Oh, this? It’sI Have A Dreamby Martin Luther King Jr.. Do you know him?”


“Yes, of course! Isn’t he the man who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement?”


“Yeah! He made a great speech, which starts with ‘I have a dream’.”


“Oh, I didn’t know that.”


“You didn’t? Then you sure have to read this book. Here you go. You can take it. I have


already read this several times.”


“Thank you so much, William!”


“You know, when I grow up, I’m gonna be an enthusiastic person like him. I hope he gets


the Nobel Peace Prize for his enthusiasm.”


*   *   *


March 27, 1964. It was the next day after the two families arrived at Homer.


“Wow! The landscape is so beautiful!” Olivia said.


“Yes, it is . . . umm . . . Dad? I think the weather is not that good today,” Robert said.


“Umm . . . let’s see,” Steven said. “Oh, no. If my feeling is right, I think something is


wrong. I’m sorry, but I think we should stay inside for today.”


“Is it an earthquake?” William asked.


“I’m not sure, but I hope it doesn’t happen.”

*   *   *


“Lasting four minutes and thirty-eight seconds, the magnitude 9.2 megathrust earthquake


was the most powerful recorded in North American history, and the second most powerful record


in world history from now” (1964).


“Robert! Is that news real?” William asked.


“This . . . this can’t be happening . . .” Robert shivered.


“The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 was initially declared to have a magnitude of 8.6.


That has been revised to 9.2 as new ways of measuring seismic action are developed and


technology is improved” (Dunham).


“Oh, no . . .”


Everyone gathered around the TV and watched the news with tears on their faces. Robert’s


family was in panic and William’s family said nothing. This earthquake was the most powerful


earthquake in Alaska that ever happened before.


“Luckily it’s not happening in the southeast where our house is. I hope our house is fine.”


“It will. God will protect us. Let’s pray for the Watson family,” Anthony calmed.


*   *   *


“Olivia! Guess what? I met The Beatles!” Sophia shouted.


“What! D . . . did you really . . . met them?”


“Yes! And I told them that my friend’s sister likes them! So they gave me a signature! Here


you go.”


“Sophia! Thank you! Thank you so much! I’ll give you everything you want!”


“It’s okay. I’m happy if you are happy.”

“I wish you were my siblings, not him.”


“What did you say?” William asked.


“Just kidding,” Olivia smiled.


“Sophia, this is a small gift for you,” William said. “I bought it when I was in Alaska. I


hope you like it.”


“Wow! Thank you!”


“What’s going on . . . ?” said Olivia with a weird smile. “You don’t normally buy people




“Sophia, I think I like you. I couldn’t get you out of my mind while I was in Alaska.”


“William . . . Don’t say that. We’re friends. Best friends.”


“Oh, what did I just say! Forget about it. Yep! We’re best friends.”


“Best friends forever!” Sophia shouted.


“Best friends forever!” William shouted.


“Best sister ever!” Olivia smiled.


*   *   *


“Yes! I knew that Jeff Mullins will do terrific in Summer Olympics!” William screamed.


“You look really happy. You seem like your gonna fly,” Sophia said.


“I have a feeling that our team is gonna win for today’s basketball game!”


“I’ll cheer for you! Oh, and did you know that on October 14, Martin Luther King Jr.


received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance?”




“Wow! For real? I knew it!”

Suddenly, William sat down and started to touch something. “What are you doing? Is there


a problem? Did you get hurt?” Sophia asked.


“No,” William smiled. “It’s a spider.”


“You have changed after you came back from Alaska!”


He smiled again.


*   *   *


“William! Pass the ball to Jeffrey!” Coach O yelled.


“Hey! William! Pass the ball to me!” Jeffrey shouted.


“What?” William said.


“Pass the ball!”


After William passed the ball to Jeffrey, he dunked the ball. His team had won by 60: 58.


This was their first time winning a basketball game at school.


“Ahhhhhhhh! We did it!” William shouted. “I knew we were gonna win today!”


“Yeah! Today was our best game ever!” the boys screamed.


*   *   *


That night, Sophia went to William’s house to meet Olivia.


“Hi, Olivia. I bought this book for you.”


A Giving Tree? It looks interesting. Thank you Sophia!”


“Umm . . . Olivia?” Sophia murmured.




“I . . . I have something to tell you.”


“Okay. What is it?”

“I think I like William.”


Silence. Then another silence.


“What did you say?”


“I like William,” Sophia murmured. “Actually, I have liked him since I saw him playing


basketball. He looks so awesome when he plays basketball.”


“But you said that you don’t like any sports.” A black shadow came out from the building


and came closer to Sophia.


“William!” Sophia exclaimed.


“Thank you, Sophia,” William said.




“Friends?” William smiled.


“Best friends forever!” William and Sophia shouted.


Works Cited


“Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission.”The Department of Natural Resources, Division


of Geological & Geophysical Surveys. www.seismic.alaska.gov. Web. 5 April 2017.


Britannica Illustrated Science Library. Volcanoes and Earthquakes. 2008. Vol 90. Print.


Dunham, Mike. “Seismic Shift: How the 1964 Alaska earthquake changed science.”


www.adn.com. Alaska Dispatch Publishing. March 23, 2014. Web. 5 April 2017.


“Homer, Alaska.”The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 5 April 2017.


“Martin Luther King, Jr.”The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 5 April 2017.


“1964 Alaska earthquake.”The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 5 April 2017.