About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween, Part 7 - The FINAL Chapter

So – there we were – the elevator doors were closing and we were almost free. But – we could hear all the cop cars skidding to a stop just a few yards away. We could see all the flashing lights and hear all the sirens and the radios. Dang! – Those security guards had it going on!

And this is where the security guar… uh… we realized by now that they were indeed full-fledged cops – made a move right out of the movies. Just as the elevator doors were about to clamp shut, a hand slipped between the doors and pulled them open. Now here’s the situation. One cop vs. 7 very tall, very scary, football-like, spike encrusted gloved and helmeted, white masked, red-glowing-eyed guys. We are TOTALLY scared and freaked out, but he can’t see that. I’ll never forget how he slowly moved his hand to his piece – didn’t pull it – but he had it there in case.

He backed up a little bit and very deliberately told us to “exit the elevator, slowly”. Within a couple of seconds, the place was literally swarming with cops and we were basically lined up against the wall being searched. “But, we we’re just having fun!” …we kept saying. “It’s just a joke”, “We just wanted to have some fun…”

They were NOT amused. In what seemed like only a couple of minutes we were all sitting down and listening the cops telling us how much trouble we were in. They had us strip off our skates, gloves, masks and helmets. We didn’t think that things could get much worse, when someone who was obviously in charge appeared on the scene. It turned out that the Chief of Police for the Port of Seattle Police was called out of bed at 2:00 am and he was NOT happy. He proceeded to pace back and forth before us letting us know that he could have us thrown in jail right now. That there were a dozen different offenses he could charge us for.
I have never heard such a combination of language and anger… it didn’t help that we kept talking about “…just having fun”. We soon stopped saying anything and started to just apologize. It was a very long night.

We ended up getting cited for disorderly conduct. We had to walk away from the airport (they confiscated our gear), and then we finally got in touch with our van driver who came and picked us up. We ended up having to get a public defender, going to court and being sentenced to 20 hours of community service work. Of course it could have been a lot worse, but the whole thing was a real eye-opener and kind of surreal.

The fun and ironic ending to this was that we ended up having to wash and wax the very police cars that chased us in the parking garage. It was kind of fun to have the secretaries whispering and excitedly chatting when we showed up the first day. Our little escapade ended up being quite the story around the police office for quite awhile.

So there you have it. Probably the hardest part was telling my folks because I had always been a good kid. Fortunately, they were pretty understanding overall. It’s one of those things that I am actually glad I did. We didn’t cause any harm, hurt anyone or destroy any property. Of course, it’s been a great story to be able to tell over the years, we did have fun through it all, and it was fun to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Thanks for sticking with me on this, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this story. I’ve had a great time reliving and retelling it, and actually writing down the memories. Have a fun, safe and legal Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween, Part 6

Having completed our photography session on the parking garage roof, and having fully psyched ourselves up, we piled in the van and headed for the elevators on the concourse level floor. Our friend dropped us off and we set off across the bridge to the main concourse.

Everything started out according to plan. We rode the escalators up to the main level and quietly skated along the end of the check-in counters in route to the aisles behind. I do recall that as we glanced at the agents at the ticket counters (it was 2am, there weren’t many of them) there were looks of surprise, concern, etc. I believe that we saw a few of them reaching for phones to alert the “security guards”. But c’mon, it WAS Halloween!

We made our way to the back aisle, assumed the “V” formation and skated the entire length of the main concourse. I don’t recall seeing anyone in particular, but what I DO recall was that we were in skater’s heaven – it was all we had imagined it would be and more. Wide, smooth terrazzo aisles, we moved in near silence, save the uniformed whooshing of our skates and the “this is AWEsome!” loud whispers now and then.

We reached the other end of the aisle and turned to head back to the escalators to exit the building back to the parking garage and be on our way…mission accomplished. What happened next happened very quickly. As we entered the check-in area, there was a “security guard” kind of jogging towards us from the counter area. He called out something to the effect of “Hold-on there, guys” and we all stopped and froze in our tracks. We didn’t want trouble; we had planned for this; we were just having fun. We’d explain ourselves, have a laugh or two about the whole thing and be on our way.

But as the guy got closer, one of us – I don’t know who – shouted “Let’s go!” and without a moment’s hesitation (I think there was a BIT of adrenalin – and some alcohol for some – involved) we all took off. We burst through the glass doors and out onto the road. As we looked back, we could see him using his radio calling for “back-up”. What? Was he going to rouse the other “guards” from their midnight cat-naps to come help him bawl us out? We weren’t going to stick around to find out… we were making for the van in the garage so we could get out of there!

As we headed down the ramps and doubled back toward the garage, it became obvious to us that we had caused a little more of a ruckus than we had intended. We got in the garage and realized that we had to skate the entire length of it to the elevator banks to make our getaway. All of the sudden, we had a very long ways to go and we were skating as fast as we could, as hard as we could, and realizing that we *may* have underestimated the impact of our actions. And then there were cop cars entering the garage behind us… CHASING us… with LIGHTS and SIRENS! And there were a LOT of them.

While this was extremely scary and we knew that we were in trouble, our only thought was to get to the elevators, then to the van, and then get out of there… as FAST as we could. We got to the elevators, pushed the button and waited. (Insert here a mental image of 7 VERY scared guys waiting *patiently* for an elevator in a lobby area while what seems to be the entire City of Seattle’s police force is very quickly ascending on them. Sirens are screaming, radios are crackling, and tires are screeching… do you hear the muzak in the background?). An elevator finally arrived and we all jumped inside. “Push the button! We made it! We made it!” That’s when one of Seattle’s finest made a great move and…

Wow… this has gotten really long. I PROMISE that I’ll finish it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween, Part 5

My awesome friend found his pictures! Well – he found the negatives – and he was nice enough to get them developed, scanned them and then emailed them to me. I do not remember that we took all these pictures! This helped me to remember that in the course of the evening, we went a large open space in the middle of the University of Washington called Red Square.

Take a look! (Click to enlarge)

A ‘70’s-ish layout if ever I’ve seen one.

Practicing our “V” formation skating.

The effect would have been better without the flash. I’m number 2, second from the right. Remember – I’m topping out at 6’-5” – so we’re all pretty intimidating.

Oooooh! Scary!

Here we are in a group pic just before we got ready to assault the airport


Geared up, faces and lights on, ready to go! On the roof of the parking garage at Sea-Tac!

Well - now that you know what we looked like, I bet you're ready to hear the whole story. Tune in tomorrow to read what happened just a few minutes after this shot was taken

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween, Part 4

I tried to delay this in hopes that I’d have the pictures by now, but I’m still waiting for my friend to send me the pics that he says he has. Arrgh! Well. I need to at least start the “rest of the story”.

As I finished in my last blog, we had done everything that we had set out to do on that fun Halloween night and had so much fun doing it. Now we were all in our friends van after having attended our last contest/party, and we were realizing that the night was about to end. The more we thought it over, the more we realized that we really needed to milk this for all it was worth and have all the fun we could possibly have. We came up with the idea that we needed to do some serious skating – show the world out there that we had arrived!

So – we put on our thinking caps and began to brainstorm. Our first thought was some of the local malls in and around the Seattle area. It was late, and we weren’t sure if they’d be open so we cruised to check out a couple of them. As we had feared, we found that they were all closed. We still jumped out of the van and tried some entrance doors in hopes that some nice janitor would let us in, hear our story and let us do some synchronized skating, V-formation, holding up the ball! No such luck.

Then it hit us. It was like 1:00am now and we realized the perfect place to get our skating on. It was a huge indoor public area; it had large expanses of polished tiled floors that our ball-bearing, polyurethane formed wheels would glide super-silently on; it was open 24/7/365; it would be perfect! The airport! Sea-Tac! Seattle/Tacoma International Airport! This was going to be great… it was the middle of the night on Halloween and we were sure the place would be basically empty.

Now I need to explain a couple of things. This was 1980. There was nowhere near the security at airports that is commonplace now in our post 9/11 w
orld. Oh, there had been hijackings. – ever since D.B. Cooper in ’71, there had been a few, but they were far and few between and were really more of a concern on the planes and at the gates. Sea-Tac is like many airports… kind of a boomerang shape with check-in desks for all the airlines along the front, and a huge back row of very wide aisles that paralleled the front aisle.

We began to get excited about the prospect of doing this and made a very simple plan. Our van-driving friend would drop us off in the parking garage; we would skate across a bridge at one end of the “boomerang”, take the escalator up to the main level and proceed to the back aisle. We would then assume our “V” formation, skate the entire length of the back aisle, come out at the other end, take the escalator down, cross the bridge to the van and be on our way. We believed that there would be little to no security at this time of night, and thought that what security was there was nothing more than security guards and/or retired cops. We did agree, though, that IF we were to be stopped by ANYone for ANY reason, we would plan on stopping, explaining that we were just having fun. We didn’t want any trouble.

Well – we had never heard of the Port of Seattle International Police Department that provided the primary law enforcement service to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. And – well, let’s just say that things didn’t quite work out the way that we planned.