Steuart’s and Bill

Twofer Tuesday so allow me to tell you of two 1986 events that occurred very close together on 19-20 December: Steuart Petroleum’s Explosion and the passing of my then Father-in-Law Bill Raftery. (I have done a previous post on these two events wherein I focussed more on, and included some nice photos of Bill, so be sure to check that post out (click here.)

Today though, let’s talk a little more about the Steuart’s Petroleum explosion event that went down (up?) very near my home here in Piney Point.

The Steuart explosion happened on a Saturday, December 20 at 2:30 am. The Enterprise front page issue described it as follows:

That issue of the Enterprise also included another article on the explosion and quoted several accounts from folks who lived nearby. Here are some excerpts from that article:

Gloria Nagel was my neighbor at the time and she stated exactly what my initial reactions were in that I did not think to look out on or up the beach. Like Gloria, I thought that something had blown up in our immediate neighborhood. When the explosion occurred and woke me up, I spent some time looking out the road-side windows of my house before it dawned on me to check out the river side view. It was then that I saw the sky ablaze up over Steuarts. And yes, it was quite a sight.

Saturday morning Buzzy called me to see how I had made out. He told me that several folks in the Store had said that they had heard the explosion all the way down there. Buzzy was worried that with me living so close to Steuart’s that I had incurred some damages. Fortunately, the explosion did not impact me at all.

The Enterprise ran several other articles on the Steuart explosion in subsequent issues. To check those out click here and follow the links.

Back to the present, a couple wheels ago, on 7 December I was in St. Michaels’ Cemetery attending a funeral. Knowing the importance of that date, I visited my former Father-in-law Bill’s resting spot and threw one his way. As I did so and gazed at his death date, all of those memories of the Steuart explosion came back to me.

Not to focus too much on death and explosions, if asked to name a funny Christmas song, most folks would probably list Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. I don’t know if they really think it is all that funny or if that is just the only funny one they can come up with. Check this list out of 20 Funny Christmas songs (click here.) The following one is on that list. (You can thank me later for not laying Grandma and her reindeer encounter on you.)

Since it is a Twofer day, on my list of favorite Christmas tunes I would include this funny and very underrated song by The Waitresses.

Sad footnote, I just learned that the Waitresses’ lead singer Patty Donahue was another December casualty as she died on 9 December 1996 at the young age of 40 from lung cancer. Wonder if anything blew up when Patty moved on?!

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