Many like Shirley La Rue, 68, stayed to rebuild homes and businesses. She and her husband, Tom, owned La Rue’s Floor Covering Inc. at 7049 Greenleaf Ave. They bought the brick-and-mortar building in 1974 but it was condemned and demolished after the 1987 quake. “We had to take it down completely,” she said. (La Rue’s Floor Covering Inc. is still in existence and is now owned by La Rue’s brother.) The couple took out a loan and rebuilt. They still own the building which now houses Red Oak BBQ and Regrowth LLC. “I was too young to retire and too old to start over,” she said. La Rue was then 48 and she said her husband was 55 or 56. “We had an established clientele. I saw no reason to move,” she added. The couple retired in 2004 but still lives in Whittier. The loan has been repaid. “Anybody who goes through a disaster like that, you can come out OK. It takes a lot of perseverance and hard work,” La Rue said. Ellen Salter, 60, was among the many residents forced to vacate their homes. She estimated damages to her Bright Avenue house at $125,000. The home was condemned. Salter, who was an insurance agent then, had earthquake insurance. But the Salters still had to pay a deductible. They rented for about six months while the house was repaired. “We had to pack everything up and move into another (place),” she said. Salter and others also testified at a hearing held at Rosemead City Hall in October 1987 to consider aid for residents who suffered quake damages. In 1987, she told state legislators that while she and her husband had earthquake insurance to rebuild the house, they did not have the funds to pay the required $20,000 deductible. Salter doesn’t remember details of the hearing. She thinks the committee wanted to hear from those in Whittier on what was needed. “I don’t think there was a lot of trouble getting help,” she said. Longtime resident Kim Wicker, 48, was at home when the temblor struck. “I was convinced it was the Big One,” he said. Cracks appeared in the plaster of his house on Philadelphia Street and his chimney was sheered off at roof level. He didn’t apply for a loan and said any damage he had to his house built in 1917 was minor. “Somehow along the way, it was bolted to a concrete foundation,” he said. But his older brother, Mark, 58, had to take out a $50,000 SBA loan to repair cracks in the walls and strengthen the foundation of his two-story house on Via del Palma. He didn’t have earthquake insurance on the house built in 1907. On Oct. 1, 1987, Mark Wicker was washing the dishes while his wife, Ernestine, was getting ready for work. His then 10-year-old son, also Mark, was upstairs on the computer while youngest daughter, Alina, 8, was making her bed. His 15-year-daughter, Lisa, walked out of the house and headed to the garage. “I heard a kind of rumble and explosion. Literally, the house just dropped suddenly. I grabbed ahold of the counter,” Mark Wicker said. All of the cupboards popped open and the dishes flew out. He thought the upstairs collapsed. He headed there. His son was crawling on the floor while Alina kept getting pinned between the bed and the wall. He said the house ended up with a lot of severe cracking in the walls but no structural damage. He didn’t have to worry about the chimney since he lost part of it in an earlier quake. The city red-tagged his house and the apartment on his second lot. They stayed with his parents for two weeks. He got his house fixed enough so they could move back in. The loan he took came at 4 percent interest. “The payments were nothing. It was a burden a little bit in the beginning,” Mark Wicker said. The three Wicker boys were born and raised in Whittier. Their father, Monte, owns “Monte’s Camera Shop” at 6533 Greenleaf Ave. “I never understood leaving town. I know of a few customers who did. I think (the quake) scared the heck out of them,” Kim Wicker said. Mark Wicker has lived in other places but says he’s fine staying in Whittier. He never thought of leaving town after the shaker. “What are you going to run away to? There were people I know who left. They became depressed … I’d rather be in an earthquake than a tornado zone,” Mark Wicker said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Oct. 1, 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake killed eight people and displaced 9,000. About 10,000 structures were damaged and destroyed. The price tag came to $358 million. But the statistics don’t tell the entire story. The time, effort and money locals expended to recover are often not mentioned. Long after the magnitude-5.9 earthquake and its aftershocks rumbled through the Southland, residents and businesses were left to deal with the aftermath.