I was in my second year at Trinity in the fall of 1938. I remember watching the storm from the third floor of Seabury dorm. Some of us walked downtown after it was over and looked at the number of trees down in the streets.
A day or two after the storm, the president of Trinity, Remsen B. Ogilby, asked four or five students to ride with him to see what damage had been done to his summer home on the beach at Weekapaug, Rhode Island. What a different story!
Between the house and the sea there had been two sand dunes, 16 to 20 feet tall, to protect the house from storms. They were completely leveled. The three-story house was tilted and resting on the large chimney. All the walls of the lowest floors were washed away!
Besides the president’s home, there were three or four large houses damaged but still there. Behind the homes, everything was flat, and debris was everywhere. The only thing visible was a large 50-foot boat resting on a hill of sand two blocks away, behind the houses.
Reverend Wayne L. Johnson ’40
Rock Island, Illinois
I had hitchhiked to Hartford from Allentown, Pennsylvania, in a vain attempt to find some way to pay for my sophomore year at Trinity after my father had gone broke. I was staying at the Delta Phi fraternity house when the storm hit after two days of heavy rains.
I remember the howling wind and rain, both greater than I had seen before (or since, I might add). I remember the towering elm trees on the campus and on Vernon Street fighting the winds, losing, and finally crashing to the ground, their massive roots now sticking up in the air for all to see.
I remember the young, nice, and pretty daughter of the house-mother crying hysterically in the fraternity house kitchen.
I remember the storm calming—but only temporarily, because this was the “eye” of the hurricane. A few of us ventured outside the fraternity house but went back in quickly when the backside of the “eye” hit. The backside, however, was weaker than the front of the storm, although still impressive.
The next day all that was left was the debris, trash, broken signs, shattered billboards, and broken windows. But most of all, the magnificent elm trees were now just corpses flat on the ground, never to cast shade on the city again.
Evans Kirkby ’41
New Brighton, Minnesota