Ask Edmond: Where were you April 19, 1995?

April 19, 1995

Pam Orendorff

Owner of Hip & Swanky Clothing Boutique

I remember the morning of April 19th, 1995 vividly. I was living in Ponca City at the time, and I happened to be home that morning, holding my six-month-old baby Kailey. Watching the news images, I remember thinking this could not be real. The most heartbreaking image was seeing the firefighter cradling baby Baylee in his arms. Having my own baby girl close to the same age, I was especially heartbroken for her family. Continued thoughts and prayers for all of the victims and their families, along with all of the rescuers whose lives were forever changed. 

James Bowen

Retired Superprinter Owner

I was at the print shop I owned on 63rd and Shartel talking to one of my buddies in Edmond on the phone. Halfway through our conversation, I heard a loud boom and couldn’t help but yell some four-letter words. Three seconds later, I heard the boom on the phone and my friend screamed too. I immediately went to the back room and turned on my tiny black and white tv and radio. My coworkers and I sat there in complete silence for the rest of the day and I closed the shop for a couple of days. During that time, we didn’t believe things like this could happen, so the mixture of shock and fear made it difficult for everyone to work. We all just wanted to be with our families.  

Aquesha Williams

Lead Engineer, Tinker AFB

I was in the 6th grade in Putnam City. I remember our desks started shaking. Almost immediately, we heard a loud ‘BOOOM’ and my teacher explained that we had just heard a sonic boom. About an hour later, the principal announced on the intercom that all students with parents who worked downtown were to report to the office. At the time, my father worked at Southwestern Bell, downtown. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of class, but my excitement was quickly replaced with anxiety and disbelief. I found out my dad was okay, but other phone discussions were not so pleasant. I could hear another student crying and wanting answers. We later found out that her mom suffered bad injuries from the windows shattering, but was okay. Today, I see the resiliency of Oklahomans, and we will forever be known as the “Heartland.” 

Elizabeth Guitierrez

Independent Hair Stylist at Bella Strada

I grew up in California and I was in 5th grade. I remember this day so clearly because I pretended to be sick so I could stay home from school and watch TV all day. I planned on watching The Price is Right and talk shows, but a few minutes into it, a breaking news report came on about the bombing. I did not understand the magnitude of the situation at the time. Once my mom got home, she asked me how everything was going and I said, “Fine, but there was some kind of bombing in Oklahoma.” Little did I know that more than 20 years later, I’d consider myself an Okie and I’d know so many people whose lives were impacted by this tragedy. 

Jenni Shrum

Marketing Strategist National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

I was working on the 4th floor of The Oklahoman building on Broadway Extension. We heard and felt the shake of the ground. My original thought was that a NewsChannel 4 helicopter hit the building since we were located next to the station. I saw a huge cloud of black smoke and found out one of my friends who took classified ad calls, had a strange call from a man saying something about a bomb prior to the blast. She ended up speaking with the FBI. Time seemed to stand still and phones wouldn’t work. Once we found out there had been a bombing, I knew many friends’ and coworkers’ lives would be touched. I just didn’t know until later how many Oklahomans and Americans would have their lives changed forever. 



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