As promised, here's the second big Long Island cop incident I encountered during my youth.
Although I grew up in Western Nassau County, I met an abundance of kids from Western Suffolk County while attending community college. Basically that means the majority of my friends lived at least thirty minutes away. No big deal. I really liked it out there. I figured maybe I'd even move out that way some day. We all know that didn't happen. I left Western Nassau in 2000 and moved to Manhattan until 2003 and have been stuck in New Jersey since. I blame my husband for that one!
As noted in my last entry, we were broke. No newsflash there, the average college kid is broke. Most likely that's why credit card companies bombard students on their very first day giving them $500 worth of free money in credit. All you need is a Social Security number and a pulse. In fact, those credit card offers are the reason I'm in debt today, just for the damn college branded water bottle and t-shirt premium. Sure they start out with $500 then in a year you're platinum and VIP and have a $30,000 limit and still in school.
When not hittin' a club, rave or concert, we would find places in the woods to hang out, smoke, drink, listen to tunes and basically just exchange ideas, thoughts and dreams - ya know, shoot the shit. One of our hot spots was this incredibly steep hill in Farmingdale. It was very close to the SUNY Farmingdale campus. None of us attended the college, several of my friends lived in the town. I swear this hill was insane for Long Island which is relatively flat compared to parts of Jersey. My silly husband would probably consider this thing the K-12 and bust out his 1990 skis during a snowstorm if he saw this thing.
There was flat land atop the immense hill and for some reason the local kids called it "The City of Glass" -- to this day I'm not sure why. I attempted to research it and it could have been an old nursery at one point. I think someone said there was a lot of sand at the top and sand makes glass. Not important. Somehow the guys pushed a keg up there. They brought lighter fluid and we brought snacks and blankets to sit on.
We kids loved hanging out outdoors at night. Woods, beaches, quiet abandoned spots where we'd party into the wee hours of the night and just because I hated the taste of alcohol, my reward was driving everyone home safely. That part sucked because it tacked on a good hour to my ride home. Try explaining that to your angry dad who is loading his scuba equipment in his car at 6 am heading out for a Sunday dive meet asking, "What club is open until 5 am on Long Island? Where do you go at night?" Yup, good times.
About two hours into our City of Glass festivities that night, the party was brought to an impromptu halt thanks to the Farmingdale police. We could see the cop cars pull up at the bottom of the hill - a good 50 feet from us. In unison you heard everyone exclaim, "Ohhhhh shitttt 5-0!!" That was kid lingo for "the cops." At that point some of us scattered and ran or hid in woodsy patches.
There was no way those cops were going to climb that hill. Instead they climbed up a few feet and called up to us with their megaphones. We were to put out our fire immediately and roll the keg down. Now my memory is a bit hazy but I believe they confiscated the beer and the friend that purchased it cursed about losing his deposit from the deli who sold it to him.
The best part about this night was the fun didn't end there. Too early for us to go home, we somehow ended up at our friend Regina's house. Her folks were away and she said we were welcome to crash at her house and what a house it was.
Regina and her parents lived in a town called Garden City. It was very upscale and filled with "old money" -- stately homes on lovely manicured lawns belonging to surgeons and lawyers. Her father was a big-time lawyer and she told me she was related to a famous Mozzarella cheese company that started out in the area. I believe it because I've never met another kid with her last name and about 85% of my classmates growing up were Italian, like me. Regina was very dramatic. She wanted to be an actress and there was something slightly magical about her. I was anxious and overwhelmed with curiosity at the thought of stepping foot into her grandiose historical-looking home.
We pulled in front of her manor and followed her toward the back door. She was slightly tipsy but the sight we were met with was surely a buzz kill. The glass door was broken and shards of glass were at our feet. In full drama queen mode, she bellowed "There's a burglar inside, we need to call the police! Someone broke into my house."
Our friend Kevin, who happened to also be from Garden City, knew the town well. He quickly jumped into his car and got his ass to a pay phone as fast as his Pumas would take him. Remember pay phones? Within a few minutes the entire Garden City police department had the home surrounded. There are cops on the roof, cops on the lawn, cops behind trees. Other than those riots you see on TV, I don't think I've ever seen so many cops in one place before than that night. They told us to get back into our car until they were sure it was safe.
Poor, frail Regina was sobbing and we did our best to calm her down. A cop stood guard near our car so he could communicate with Regina and the cops inside her home. We heard over the walkie-talkie. "Yeah, ah, we found a man with a bloody hand. He is passed out on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. He claims he lives here and that the young ladies' older brother," says the cop. "Uh, duh? Hello, Regina? Are you serious?" is what I wanted to say to her as the cop inquired about the validity of their findings. I don't think I even knew she had a brother.
She gasped, my brother? He must have forgotten is keys.
There's more. It turns out her house is haunted. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.