I was 7 years old at the time of the "Great Flood of 1955" and my family owned a three-story house at 143 Waterville Street in Waterbury. We lived on the first floor and rented the second and third floors as apartments.
I remember waking up that morning and wondering why my Dad hadn't left for work at Chase Brass Metals Company on Thomaston Avenue. My sister, Marie, took me up to the third-floor apartment and I peered out the window. Down below, way in the distance, you could see people on the roofs of their homes waiting to be rescued by boats as the water level was up to the second floor of their homes. That was very scary and sad for me.
As a ninth-grade English teacher at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, I would tell this story to my students when we discussed what children observe at a young age versus someone who's an adult. My sister was ten years older than me, so Marie told me years later discussing the "Great Flood of 1955" how she remembered the sight of dead bodies floating in the water looking through that same window back then with me.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times