Scary Times

It was the summer of ’77. Spike Lee made a movie about it. I was 8 and remember it well. It was one of the scariest times in my life and one of the happiest. Somehow, my young mind split the two events and doesn’t realize they occurred at the same time.
The happiest time of my life was the big Blackout in NYC. It was so much fun! Everyone came home and hung out on their stoops.We listened to the news on the transistor radio. My brother and his friend were at a Mets game.The game was cancelled and they got a ride home from a neighbor. My mom came back home from work. It was July and it was hot. Someone turned on the fire hydrant sprinkler. My friends and I laughed with glee as we ran through the cool water in the dark. We got to stay up late. People began setting off roman candles and bottle rockets leftover from the fourth of July. We were blissfully ignorant of the looting going on in other places around us. My mostly residential middle-working class block had one big block party. The power was restored after a day and there was a brown out for the next 2 days. We made the best of it and no one ever thought of suing Con Ed. It was good times.
It was also the summer of the Son of Sam. The crazy SOB whose neighbor’s dog told him to go out and kill young girls. It was all over the news and everyone feared for their daughters. My best friend and I worried about our older sisters going out. They both cut their long brown hair short. The news said it seemed he was going after young girls with long brown hair. We sat on my friends stoop and talked about what they should do when they caught him. Put him in a room full of snakes, was one suggestion. We couldn’t come up with anything to equal the terror he had put into the hearts of everyone around us. Everyone was so relieved when they finally caught David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam. That was the first news story I remember and the first really scary time in my young life.

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8 thoughts on “Scary Times

  1. Wow! That does sound really scary! But I like the way your first part took what some saw as a bad thing (the blackout) and turned it into fond memories! Isn’t it always the simple times we look back on with the best memories?

    • Things defrosting in the freezer just means kids get to eat ice-cream and ice pops! I don’t even think I understood what a serial killer was at
      the time, but just the sense of everyone else’s terror had us frightened!

  2. Wow, you made that sound like a lot of fun!! I’ve always been jealous of those kids who got to play in fire hydrants. I’ve never heard of that serial killer though…that would definitely damper any party.

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