My then-future husband, Don, was the leader of a squad that stole signs every weekend from the airport. One week they stole a sign that said, “Warning. Do not open this door.” The next week they went back and opened the door. Police in squad cars and ambulances gave chase through Idlewild in a scene right out of “The French Connection.” They got off with a warning. But they kept stealing signs until they graduated. They can’t really say why.
I asked Don what was the worst thing the boys ever did, and he said it was a tossup between the times they hitchhiked to Aqueduct and paid bums to take them in as their “kids” so they could bet, and the time (on a dare) they walked through the mud, up to their armpits, from the Lawrence Yacht Club to the base of the Atlantic Beach Bridge. They can’t really say why.
They were lucky. It was a rite of passage, and they survived. Today, for similar crimes and misdemeanors, the consequences would be far more serious.
Ron said that the kids in our 600-plus class of ’64 were the smartest, most intellectual people he ever encountered anywhere, including at Wharton and practicing law. The wild boys became doctors, lawyers, business leaders and teachers. Every one of them succeeded in careers and in family life. All are married to the girls they met in the ’60s. Ain’t it wonderful to be alive when the rock ’n’ roll plays, yeah
When the memory stays, yeah.
Copyright © 2014 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.