Vice President’s Wife Tours Damaged Farm Towns With PM-SF Quake, Bjt
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) _ Marilyn Quayle began inspecting California earthquake damage with tours of two devastated farm towns and private visits with refugees living in tents.
″You’ve got me behind you,″ the wife of Vice President Dan Quayle said Thursday as she hugged Marie Deverly, owner of a damaged building in downtown Watsonville.
″I’m glad I came here and will certainly go back to Washington and tell the president of the problems here now and the hardships that will be faced in the months to come,″ Mrs. Quayle told reporters.
She began her tour in Hollister, an agricultural town in San Benito County, then visited Watsonville in Santa Cruz County. She went to seaside Santa Cruz this morning, meeting with city officials, and was scheduled to visit San Francisco this afternoon.
The epicenter of the Oct. 17 quake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, was 15 miles northeast of Santa Cruz and about 55 miles south of San Francisco. Watsonville is about 15 miles east of Santa Cruz and Hollister is about 20 miles east of Watsonville.
Watsonville Mayor Betty Murphy told Mrs. Quayle of losses suffered in the city of 28,000 residents.
″Sometimes it’s a lot harder for the smaller towns,″ Mrs. Quayle told the mayor as they walked past crumbling buildings.
They paused in front of a mound of brick and wood that once was a building housing homes and shops. It had been demolished hours earlier, the first of at least seven downtown buildings that must be torn down.
Mrs. Quayle later had dinner at a Red Cross shelter where 170 people, mostly poor Hispanics, live in 23 tents. Wearing a Red Cross windbreaker and cradling a baby boy, Mrs. Quayle then walked to a tent to talk privately with a family about its problems.
Mrs. Quayle remained about 15 minutes in the tent shared by 13 people, chatting with Maria Rosario Hernandez and Guadalupe Marquez about their problems finding affordable housing since their homes were destroyed. They said rents are about double the $400 they used to pay for a one-bedroom house shared by nine people.
″She seemed very nice and answered all our questions,″ Mrs. Marquez said afterward. ″I’m glad she saw how we live and I hope she noticed how cold it is. My child has been to the doctor twice because of the cold.″