10 Years Later: Where Were You During The Blackout?

Posted: August 15, 2013 in LIFE
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


By Jason Sutcliffe

It was 10 years ago yesterday that the whole Northeast went into complete darkness. I am sure that everyone who was in the area of the blackout on that day can remember where they were when it happened. I could never forget where I was when the whole cities power went out.

Believe it or not I was at Wonderland, and was next in line to go on the stand-up roller coaster. My friend and I had waited in line for almost an hour, and just as we reached the front of the line, the power went out, and they closed the ride.

Initially it seemed like the worst possible luck—well, next to the people stuck on the ride they had to sit and wait to be manually brought back down. Admittedly they had worse luck than us. We were cursing and so pissed off! A hot summers day, a long wait in line and no smokes left we were feeling pretty shitty.

What we originally thought was bad luck, we quickly realised was good luck. Once we knew that the entire park had no power, and none of the pay phones, or cell phones worked we it was clear that this was much bigger than just a ride.

It was a pretty chaotic scene as the entire park emptied out at once into the parking lot. Everybody who was waiting for a bus, or for someone to pick them up, was frantically trying to figure out how they were going to get home.

My buddy and I had a sense of ok what do we do now? We could not call a cab it was going to take hours to get a bus, and worst of all, we had no smokes. I remember as a smoker that bothered me more than everything else. No cigarettes and no store open anywhere because they could not run their cash register.

We wandered around the parking lot aimlessly trying to figure out what we were going to do. After about 35 minutes, we needed a smoke; it was frustrating, we were hot, and a little bit stressed.

We had noticed a family amongst the couple thousand people they were sitting on the grass having a little picnic of sorts, and both parents were smoking. I walked over and asked the husband if I could buy a few smokes of him. He was more than kind; given the circumstances he gave us each 2-3 smokes and did not take the money.

We immediately lit a smoke, and the social butterflies that we were, we stuck around for a few minutes and “shot the shit.” After talking for a couple of minutes about the whole situation, and everything going on the husband asked us how we were going to get home. We explained that we were not sure yet. He then asked us where we lived, so we told him Woodbine and O’Connor.

This is where a small miracle took place; he proceeded to tell us that he lived at VP and Gerrard and had two available seats in his mini-van if we wanted a ride. What are the odds? Of all the people there that day, and in all the chaos, the person we ended up talking to lived 10 minutes from us and had two seats available in their car.

It was on that day that I knew for sure first hand that miracles happen. It would have taken us hours to get home, and by hours I mean like 12 hours. Instead, we got smokes, food and an air-conditioned ride home. It does not get much better than that.

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