Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Big Boom

     One night there was a loud boom and the house seemed to shake, a couple of hours after  we retired to our beds for the night.  The two preschoolers, Susi and Kevin, ran into our bedroom crying and screaming, jumping on our bed.  Baby Walter raised his head from his crib nearby and whimpered.
     "Someone tried to open our door," squealed Susi.
     "Which door"? asked her father.
     "The one that opens to the patio from our room", she replied.
     Resentful of the fact that I was losing much needed sleep, I interjected, "That is crazy. Who would want to break into our house? We don't have any valuables."
     The big father answered, "Shut up. Just go call the police and I will stand beside the door."
     At that pronouncement, he picked up a kitchen chair and held it over his head and tip toed to the door in the kids' room.
     Kevin began to say something and his sister immediately shushed him.
     Their father looked strained, but didn't waver, as he held the chair high above him.   
     I called the police and told the dispatcher we thought we were being invaded. She asked me where we lived and I said, "On the corner of Buffalo Speedway, right off Main."
     She said, "That's a busy street.I should have a patrol car nearby and I will send someone over as soon as possible."
     When I walked back to the bedroom to report to my husband, he said, "Good."
     I said, "Are you okay?"
     He said, "Of course", with a frown on his face. "Take the children with you and stay at the front door and wait for the police. Then bring him back here".
    I said, "Of course, dear".
    What seemed like a very long time, the patrolman finally arrived. I told him what had happened and led him to my husband's guarding position. With the chair still raised over his head, he looked relieved as we entered the room and then lowered the chair to the floor. Now he had cover from a cop with a gun in his holster.
     We discussed the event with the polite policeman, as he got everyone's story. He smiled and in his patient way  told us that he had other reports of a loud boom and shake to neighbors' homes, as well as ours. And from his investigation, he determined it was tied to a jet that was flying overhead. They figured that the sound and shaking was a jet breaking the sound barrier. 
     Although we were embarrassed that we did not know and we had called the police in a false alarm, it was a rather new experience for all of us to hear such noise as this. Looking back to this time, it was in the height of the Cold War, a couple of months after  President Kennedy was assassinated. It was an uncomfortable time for most of us. And it was not the last time I heard a boom like that night.

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