It was many years ago, probably the fourth or fifth year of YEA!, when the city of Evanston loaned us a rather rickety flatbed wagon to serve as our stage for the performing arts.
It was a sight to behold.
Old, worn car tires that were nearly bald, and a fold out platform that was hardly safe for children to stand on. It looked like a tired, old wagon that they used for hay rides. But in those early Yea! days, it was all we could get or afford, so we made do. The city towed it over to our site on the Friday evening before Yea! Day and left it in the parking lot behind the old Protex building on Chicago Ave. and Dempster St. We had gotten permission from Irving Amado, the owner of the property, to leave it there. We used it on Saturday, and after taking down risers, and walls, and cleaning up, a crew of us pushed the old wagon back into the parking lot where the city would pick it up on Monday morning.
Just as we (Mickey 3 and several others) were finished placing the old wagon in place, two Lincoln towing trucks sped into the lot, kicking up gravel and dust, coming to a skidding stop. What was this all about, I said to myself. Two rather large macho-football-player types stepped from their trucks. I walked up to them and said, “Is there a problem?” One of them said, “WE’RE HERE TO TOW THIS PIECE OF “BEEP” OFF THIS PARKING LOT“.
“Not our adorable, old, rickety stage”, I thought to myself.
I was in disbelief. Can you picture a beat up hay wagon being towed behind a Lincoln Towing truck?
Then, I got angry and said to one of the macho hulks, “OVER MY DEAD BODY”, and after that unfortunate statement came out of my mouth, I realized that we were in for trouble.
One of them ran to his truck, reached inside and pulled out a link chain which he proceeded to wrap around his fist. He approached me, but I didn’t back off. Just as we were about to encounter each other “Mickey 3” stepped between us. (Mickey 3 was a muscular body builder type of about 200 pounds). Just as the Lincoln Towing monster was about to swing his chained fist at me, Mickey 3 landed a punch to his belly. The fight was on, and I began wrestling with the bruiser’s partner. I turned to see how Mickey 3 was doing, when suddenly the chain guy connected to the right side of Mickey 3’s head.
Immediately, I noticed that he was bleeding badly and I ran over and jumped on the back of his attacker. He then gave me a swift elbow to my ribs and I fell to the ground in pain.
Luckily, the police had been called and the two bruisers ran to their trucks and sped out of the parking lot, spewing gravel and dust everywhere, while Mickey 3 continued bleeding and I lay in pain on the ground.
Three Evanston police cars arrived too late for our rescue, but someone had gotten the license plate numbers of the trucks. Reports were made, they found the bruisers, they lost their jobs, and they were prosecuted. Mickey ended up with 11 stitches in his head and I with two fractured ribs.
The moral of this experience? Before you say “OVER MY DEAD BODY”, think about the possible repercussions. BUT, IT WAS A GREAT YEA! DAY ANYWAY.