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 world. 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.