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Anonymous male
14 August 1999

Interviewed by John Summers

 
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Q–Which blackout did you experience?

A–Actually, both, but I’m very vague on the 65 one.

Q–Okay, so where were you living in 77?

A–In 77, I was living in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Q–Okay.

A–And it was a Wednesday night. About 6:30 all the fellows got together. I had my car at the time. We drove up to the band show at Forest Park.

Q-I’m sorry; what was that?

A–We drove up to the band show in Forest Park–it’s like the band show in Central Park. There are rock concerts there. There must have been 5,000 people there that night. And, about 300 drug dealers. Okay? That’s how it used to be. And everybody was out there buying all their shit, getting ready for the show. We went over–we went over, got some pot. And I’m not too certain, but we were probably doing more than pot, to tell you the truth. Chances are we were tripping on acid.

Q–Okay.

A–We were watching the show. The show was really good. It was the band, "Brooklyn." They’re a local band. But the show was really good. About 9:30 or so--I believe it was–the lights went out. The show stopped. The band couldn’t play no more. And pretty much everybody had to pack it in. We all realized it was a blackout.

Q–You realized immediately that it was not just local?

A–Well, from where we were you could tell it was not just local. Cause you could look over the hill, and you could see that, it was out all the way from Forest Park to Rockway–that would mean Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Howard Beach, and Rockway Beach; you could see it was all out.

Q–Okay.

A–Cause that’s the highest point in Queens, right there.

Q–So you had a good view.

A–Yeah, so it was all out. So we went down–we went down and took the car after that. We went down to Victory Field, where there’s a running track. And we took the car on the running track. We did a lap with the lights out. Just for the fun of it. And then we drove down to Richmond Hill–down Myrtle Avenue, that was...

Q–What was the scene like, as you were driving? Were there people on the streets?

A–A lot of people were on the streets because the concert–everyone just left the concert. It was like 5,000 people in the area, all filing out of the park.

Q–Just to go back–at the minute the lights went out, was there any panic?

A–More like, people were upset. They weren’t going to see the rest of the show. It was more like boos, you know. Everyone was upset cause the show had stopped.

Q–Okay.

A–Cause actually a lot of people didn’t realize–they thought maybe they just cut the music off on us or something. Cause it gets late, and they close us down there. They kick us all out anyway, the cops do, usually, back then.

Q–Okay, so you were driving along.

A–Yeah, we parked the car. We parked the car, cause it was a little dangerous out there. Some of the street lights were out and everything. All the street lights were out, I mean. So, some of the corners were dangerous. So we parked the car; we went down the corner. We seen a few fender-benders along the way, so we started directing some traffic for a while.

Q–How many of there were you?

A–There were four of us. So we directed traffic for a while. And, two guys had went home, then. And then it was me and my buddy. And by then the cops had came out; the cops were directing traffic. So the cops out directing traffic also. And then we left. There was really no robberies or anything going on around here but we already heard on the radio the rumors about what was going on in Jamaica and everything.

Q–Okay.

A– About the looting. So there was a lot of looting down in Jamaica about two miles down from us. And there was probably a little bit of looting around here, but not too much. Nothing really–no damage the next morning. Nothing you could really tell.

Q–You didn’t witness any fires?

A–No, there were no–there were no fires in this area at all. Actually, it was pretty good. I went back to my friend’s house and we sat down in there with a shotgun in case anybody came by–anything was going to happen.

Q–A loaded shotgun?

A–Yeah, a loaded shotgun.

Q–And you stayed there the rest of the evening?

A–No, we stayed there for a little while, and then I cut out and went home.

 
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jts{27 June 2000}