Bomb Scare

School was, as we used to say, a fairly mellow place. So an eyebrow got raised when I read this diary entry from Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1977:

“Believe it or not there was a bomb scare today in school. Some kid wrote a message on the desktop of a study carrel in the library. It was whispered about until they announced an evacuation at around 11:45 or so. Everyone was out in the parking lot standing around or sitting in cars. Some took off. It was like a drive-in: music blasting away…a sunny warm day, but there was a cool breeze.”

By 12:20 p.m. the emergency was over, the all-clear was given, and classes resumed. Never learned who the study-carrel culprit was.

However, the “some kid wrote a message” part still hits home with me, about how desperate life in high school could be. From this distance the pressures look more than manageable, but at the time there seemed no way out. That’s where new buddies stepped in, like Scott “Harvey” Hanson and Jeff Greene.

Not entirely clear where Scott got the moniker “Harvey,” but it stuck. Grafted from the “nerdy black-rimmed glasses” persuasion, Harvey was stoner to the core. Back in mid-September, Hanson and I drove over to North Memorial hospital to see Steve, who had permanently damaged his kidney in a tackle football game. I’m sure mention will be made later of all the driving Harvey did in his vintage ’68 dark green Mustang, but likely we took the Dartillac to see Steve.

Greene was another stoner kid with a good heart who often stopped over at our family’s house. He had shoulder-length brown hair and a goofy smile—would kill to know exactly what my parents thought of him, but surely they must’ve felt I was running with a crazy crowd.

By October, Jeff helped me get to know a cute little blonde named Sonya Andrews. While she had a boyfriend named Brad, that didn’t matter. I was smitten every time she strolled through the Music Resource Center clutching her textbooks and smiling shyly at me. I talked to her friends; she talked to mine. We passed notes back and forth. I had to ask her out. “Maybe to Aerosmith on November 12?” Jeff suggested. We still had to get tickets. Chad obnoxiously chimed in when he shouted to Sonya during lunch period, “Hey, Sonya! Mike wants to ask you to Aerosmith!” Was steamed at him the rest of the day. That night I was back at Ridgedale working at Super Sam’s with John and our supervisor Sabrina.

Sabrina was interesting. She had to be in her early 20s, a heavy-set brunette with a bent toward bitchiness if you caught her at the wrong time. I soon discovered that if I engaged her in plenty of “what if…” chatter, that always seemed to mellow her out. You see, Sabrina had a philosophical streak. That and, if Donna, one of our frontline workers, had a 12-pack in her car for after we punched the time clock. These were wayward days. It was my senior year, and with it came a sense of entitlement—big, scary adult life was looming, so the chance to relax with one’s friends or coworkers over a cold shiny can of Miller High Life was as good as it got.

As store manager, Sabrina of course had a boss above her—a mysterious character the diary reports as “Mr. Score.” This wasn’t the Sam of Super Sam’s, by the way, but up there in the fast-food management food chain. Sam himself sometimes paid a call on the store, but it was mostly Mr. Score meeting with Sabrina. The diary doesn’t describe either Sam or Score, and my feeble memory banks aren’t coughing up anything further.

But apparently there was a dark side to the high life. On Nov. 6, the diary states, “Mom is pretty mad at me all the time…Dad is in Maryland all week. I think I’m tired. I’m obviously confused.” It didn’t help that the day before I’d worked again at the mall and reported being “a little depressed & hung over from last night”—that being Donna and her magical half case of Miller.

Saturday, Nov. 5 found me punching the time clock at noon. It was a tough shift. The diary spilled it: “Lately I’ve been so confused and overrun and I don’t know—nervous.”

You know, kind of like someone had threatened to set off a bomb in my head.

~ by completelyinthedark on July 14, 2012.

5 Responses to “Bomb Scare”

  1. I was wondering when/if cruising in the ‘stang was going to get a mention – the “Party Chasers” live again… 😉
    I’m pretty sure ‘Harvey’ came from the ‘Harvey Hanson Realtors’ billboards that seemed to be everywhere back then. As I recall Greg Hartman and Tony Zuccaro started that one…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yeah, it’s getting near the point where “DISCO SUCKS” enters the picture 😉


  3. Harv: I remember the day you got that nickname. It was actually me and John McDanials who gave it to you, one day when we skating on the lagoon. We were talking about James Bond 007 and somehow that morphed into Harvey Hansen 008. As time went on it just became Harv. BTW – remember the infamous Harvaque! A keg, some steaks and some weed! Ah – those were the days!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greg: Glad to see you here. Here’s a post about your Dad slipping me my first martini. Feel free to share it with him:


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