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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: June 12, 2000

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?
My marriage was over and I was at the lawyers office on Park ave. in manhattan to start the proceedings. I filled out the usual separation papers. It was late when I took the elevator down to the ground floor. I stepped out into the street and it was getting dark. It seemed like all the lights in NY were on that night. It had been years since I had been downtown at night. It was beautiful. I started walking to the subway, and noticed lights going out. It seemed little by little. One marquis at a time. Then it was dark. People started talking to one another like they knew each other. What happened? What should we do? I walked awhile till I saw a Horn & Hardart. It was brimming with people. Every talking. Where do you live? Where is there a phone? Yes, a phone. I had left my 3 little children with a friend, I just had to call. I waited on line, it seemed forever. Finally, Hello Doris, Guess what? the lights went out. Yes, she said here too. She said dont worry about the kids, all the women and kids in the building are in my house and we are having a giant birthday party. Thank God for Doris, she always was on top of things. Now I had to get home to 170 and Grand Concourse. I walked around the restaurant and heard people talking. Where do you live?

They were asking. Does anyone live on the Grand Concourse?

I do, I do, I said. They said come on we have room for one more. I think I had an angel on my shoulder that night. He knew I had 3 little girls waiting for me at home.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Both were significant

Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
No

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?
No

How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
Became less reliant

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #91, The Blackout History Project, 12 June 2000, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/91/>.
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