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Contributed by: David Lambert
Contributed on: August 9, 2007

Which blackout(s) did you experience?
1965 (Great Northeast Blackout)

In your own words, tell the story of your experience in the blackout(s). Try to recall specific events and the people, places, and things involved; also include more general reactions, images adn last impressions?
I was in the apartment at West 86th and Columbus of Jorjana Chastain, babysitting her son Colin. At first, I thought Jorjana had forgotten to pay the light bill, but I soon realized by looking out the window that darkness was everywhere. Soon afterward, Jorjana came home and I went to my friend Fritzi White's a couple of blocks away on Broadway. We walked to Times Square and looked up to see the stars. It was like a love-in. Everyone was sweet and polite, and they all seemed to be on LSD (I wasn't). I almost thought the world had changed and that peace had finally arrived. In fact, I was disappointed when the lights came back on. I still dream about that evening and will never forget it.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
No idea.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
No idea.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
1965 only

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
I've explained that above.

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
I've explained that above.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
Disappointment to be back in the world of reality (I was young and idealistic).

Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
Yes (please explain)

If yes, please explain:
I've explained this above.

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?

How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
No effect / same reliance

Cite as: David Lambert, Story #2091, The Blackout History Project, 9 August 2007, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/2091/>.
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