I was on the water rower, singing along to a Van Morrison song on Pandora when I remembered a night in ‘69 or ‘70, fall or winter. It was during the school year. Some friends of mine and I had decided to go for a walk after dinner one night. It may have been a Friday or Saturday night. It was cold and rainy so we took blankets. I don’t remember whose house we started from or how we scored the blankets. I just remember we wandered, a largish group of us, for introvert me anyway. ‘Ticia, Rebecca, and me. Probably the three Michael’s, they were usually in the mix. ‘Ticia looked like she stepped right out of the Beat Generation. It was a good look on her. Rebecca, well, people told us we looked alike. We never saw it—just that we both had long hair, very long, very straight, similar in color, and parted down the middle. The three Michael’s. Michael one had wild curly long blond hair, glacial blue eyes, and a rakish, frenetic grin. Michael two, who also had curly hair but brown, longish, was stolid and philosophical. Michael three, I know he was there. I just don’t recall his image as clearly other than that he was tall and thin and quiet. The new girl, Solveig, from Sweden. We became pretty good friends quite quickly. She had porcelain beauty skin, dimples, big hair, kind blue eyes, and an accent we all loved. Her voice was soft, you always wanted to lean in closer to listen when speaking with her. Jack, too. Yes, Jack must have been there. He was tall and skinny with Neil Young hair and called my mom “mom”. He went off to Vietnam. I never saw him again.
Anyway, we ended up in a park. It was not one of the parks we frequented, but the gate was open. We wandered in talking the while. We found a nice spot and sat down on damp grass, huddled in our blankets, and sang songs, likely Dylan, and Grateful Dead, new stuff off of Workingman’s Dead…Ah! So it would have been in 1970 as that was when it was released. OK. Maybe some Joan or Joni. We were in a good space, with a good vibe.
After a while I was actually beginning to get cold, a little uncomfortable. It was then we saw flashlight beams approaching. The light beams bounced up and down and around slightly with the cadence of the people holding them. They gradually came into view in the halo glow of the flashlights. It turns out we were lucky that night as no one in the group had “anything” on them. Local police. They weren’t bullies. We weren’t belligerent. It was more… “What are you all doing out here in the rain?”
“Singing, talking, hanging out…”
“Did you know there is a curfew and that the park is long closed? It closes at dusk.”
I don’t remember exact conversations, but we were escorted to police cars. They did that protect the head thing with their hands you see in movies as they ushered us into the squad cars. We were driven to the police station, our parents were called.
Some parents I guess weren’t pleased. Mom and dad were pretty chill about it. As long as I was OK, and hadn’t done anything really wrong. It wasn’t that late just dark. They came, they picked me up. We went home. That is my story of my high school run-in with the police.