Some stories are best left untold for many reasons. I have several that will always remain that way. I’m sure family and friends echo the same.
The following story was in my upstairs confidential file for over fifty years.
Rather than keep things under wraps until the secret’s lost for good, I decided this cat needed out of the bag. Tooting one’s own horn also comes into play before the battery goes completely dead. This tale can now be unleashed without harm to anyone.
One of the major class accomplishments of East Anchorage High School – Class of 1972 – was a mural in the senior courtyard. Our motto: Future Goals We Will Pursue – Senior Class Of ’72 was proudly painted on one wall. On the outside cinder block, this could be viewed from within through numerous windows.
After our graduation ceremony, I talked to a former classmate slated to graduate in 1973. He still had one week of school left. The guy bragged that his class had constructed a large banner with their own motto, The Guiding Light To A World That’s Free, Senior Class of ’73. They intended to place it over ours. That was overt disrespect in my mind, yet I bit my tongue and said nothing.
A few juniors went on the school roof late Friday afternoon, May 26, with permission, after classes let out, unfurling their Class of ’73 banner, totally obliterating our message. Students returning on Monday morning would see this for the first time, at least that was their plan.
After getting wind of such, I immediately called my friend, Jeff Thimsen. Telling him what I’d heard, he already knew about it. His girlfriend, Laura Kile, was behind the making of this banner. Telling Jeff what I wanted to do, my friend was highly skeptical at first, not wanting to cause any relationship problems.
I eventually persuaded him by saying I’d be the one doing the dirty work, and he’d merely be an innocent bystander. My television hero, Larry Mondello, came to mind when I pleaded with Jeff for assistance.
Around midnight on May 28, dressed in dark clothing, we scurried to the rear of this sprawling complex, stopping at a large electrical conduit secured to a corner wall. The pipe went all the way to the roof. Our car had been left in a mortuary parking lot down the street so as not to raise suspicion.
It took some effort to climb the pole with my needing assistance from Jeff to get over the edge. Crouched down while running, within seconds the senior courtyard came into view. It took little energy on our part to free the newly constructed banner and send it gently to ground with barely a rumple.
Thinking all was cool, a custodian evidently mopping floors was near this area when the sign came loose. It must’ve startled him as I could see the guy staring out a window, fixated on the collapsed banner below us.
We stepped back and sat quietly for several minutes as he walked outside and lit a cigarette. It’s a known fact that smokers will seize any given opportunity for a fix and this fellow proved such. It seemed like an hour passed before he finally reached total nicotine satisfaction.
With him taking one last drag before closing the door, we quickly scurried back to the area we’d climbed. A Loomis private security vehicle slowly rolled around the building at this time performing a nightly security check. Many such employees were moonlighting military service members back then. Evidently this guy, half asleep, wasn’t very observant or he would’ve spotted our silhouettes against the bright moon. It would’ve then become a race to escape.
Thankfully, the Loomis employee soon wheeled back onto Northern Lights Boulevard having completed his mission. With hearts pounding, we quickly slid halfway down the pipe and then jumped the rest of the way to expedite things. From that point we hightailed it into adjoining woods for a short spell.
I never heard what the students putting that banner up thought when they came to school Monday morning. Most likely, like that lone janitor, they blamed it on wind. There’s an old song titled, They Call the Wind Mariah. On that night, the wind was named, Jeff & Mike.
Our class motto undoubtedly remained in view for one more day because of this symbolic act. That was our first pursued goal after leaving school with bigger ones yet to follow.
Looking back, it was a good thing we were the ones doing the pursuing that evening, instead of being the pursued!
One thought on “THE PURSUED”
another good one. Eric and Dave are getting a kick out of these. You wouldnt believe some of the stuff Dave got away with.