Dream of: 16 December 1994 "Crowbar Fight"
I was in the building next door to the Gay Street House, where Giovanni's Pizza used to be. I was reading a magazine article about the first show of an old television series which I had never seen. As I read the article, I was able to visualize the show in my mind as if I were watching it. The show was about some students from an eastern state, perhaps Connecticut. The students had traveled to the state of Washington to attend school, and the show depicted their lives and the lives of people they met in Washington.
From reading the article, I concluded that although on the surface the show appeared realistic, it was actually unrealistic. I especially thought people wouldn't interact the way they were depicted as interacting on the show. The article used a word which I had never heard before to describe the unrealistic way in which people were interacting on the show.
In one scene of the show, a young male college student (apparently the star) was peering from behind a nice, white shirt hanging on a hanger. A proper sort of fellow, he was especially proud of the shirt and would carry it to work with him so he would have it if he needed to get dressed up. The other people on the show apparently weren't as proper as he.
I finished the article and stood to leave. As I walked outside into the parking lot, I was surprised to see also walking out a group of Hispanic fellows who appeared to be in their late teens. They were all carrying large black crowbars about a meter long. I was surprised to see so many crowbars, and didn't know what they would be used for; maybe the youths were using them to steal things. As they drew into a line and began walking, I walked along beside them.
I was rather intimidated, but thought I might try to befriend them by speaking Spanish with some of them. However I couldn't remember the word for crowbar. I continued walking with them until we reached the Gay Street House, which seemed to be sitting higher than normal. My father was standing on the porch on the Gay Street side. I walked onto the porch and hugged him. We both looked out onto the street at the men (who were no longer Hispanics, but blacks) carrying crowbars. My father immediately became concerned and said he was going to call the police. I told him not to do it, and I added, "Just trust me on this."
I thought if my father called the police, the blacks would come back later to retaliate. Nevertheless, he was determined to call the police. But when we tried to open the door to go back inside, we realized my father had inadvertently locked the door behind him when he had come out. I began to be frightened. If we were unable to get into the House, we could have a problem.
I walked to the front of the porch so I could see better where everyone was. Only now did I realize the blacks were all over the place – it looked as if there were hundreds of them. When I looked back for my father, he wasn't there. A front window and a door window on the House had been broken; I concluded that some of the black thugs had probably broken the windows. Examining the door more closely, I discovered that it was now open.
I walked into the House and shut the door behind me. I picked up a small crowbar lying on the floor, and when I looked up, I saw a black fellow leaning in through the window. He took a swing at me with a crowbar. Now I knew we had a serious problem. I swung back with my crowbar and began scuffling with him as he tried to reach through the window. In the struggle I managed to take his crowbar from him. Losing the crowbar obviously made him angry, and I had the feeling that if one of their crowbars were taken away, it was looked at as a sign that they were weak. Since weakness couldn't be tolerated, he was urgently trying to retrieve the crowbar. I began hitting him in the head with the crowbar, over and over. But the beating didn't seem to have much effect on him. The blows seemed to bounce off as from a piece of rubber.
When a second fellow came up to the window and began scuffling, I also managed to take his crowbar from him. He also seemed upset that I had taken his crowbar.
Both men had short hair, almost as if their heads had been shaved.
I now had a serious problem. If more of them gathered outside, and they managed to enter the House, they could kill me. No police were arriving. Finally I backed up, and they backed off. I picked up a phone but was unsure whether I should dial 911 or another number. Finally I realized someone at the police station was on the other end. I explained, "This is Steve Collier. I'm Leroy Collier's son. There's hundreds of black thugs out here on the street, on the corner of Gay and Eighth Streets."
I explained how the thugs had first started on the corner of Gay and Seventh Streets near the pizza shop. The policeman on the other end seemed incredulous and couldn't believe what I was telling him. Finally I had to hang up because the thugs were returning. I just hoped the police would come. I heard some sirens in the distance and thought, "They must be coming already."
When the blacks came back to the door, I could see that they were going to come inside and that there was no way to stop them. I quickly slipped into the back living room and shut the door behind me, even though I was unable to lock it. I headed toward the kitchen, trying to think of what to do. Maybe I could go to the attic. Then I thought if I went to the basement before they could see me, I might be able to crawl back under the House. I could hide there and might be able to escape.
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