The Big Bang - Part 2


On the night of April 15, 1980, I was in bed, dead asleep.

My apartment in Dallas was a hip,huge,adults-only complex called “The Village.” The Village was ‘Mecca’ to up and coming singles new to the Dallas area. Featuring several swimming pools, a large country club, tennis courts with a Pro-shop, sports fields and hosting social events with local bands, it was the happening place to live. My nearest grocery store was the “Tom Thumb” on Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue. Monthly, its produce section hosted ‘Singles Night’ complete with games and prizes. Meat, cheese and take-home dinners were packaged in convenient ‘singles’ packaging. Several bars and restaurants were within stumbling distance and in the eighties, Greenville Avenue was where you wanted to be.

Unfortunately, I was completely unaware of these fabulous amenities for singles (with the exception of the swimming pools) as I was a shut-in. My life amounted to work and sleep. Overtime was plentiful and I had no friends so I focused on what I knew best…Work-Eat-Sleep.

It was during one of my ‘sleep’ cycles on April 15th that I heard a big bang and felt my apartment shudder. Rolling over, I blew it off.

A little while later I could have sworn I heard sirens and people talking. It was so real that it sounded like they were standing beside me. Flipping over again, I fell back asleep.

Soon after, I smelled the distinct odor of smoke. So, crawling out of bed in the dark, I walked into my living room where I promptly tripped over a very large sofa chair. “How did that get there?” I asked myself I was lying on my avocado green shag carpeting. The chair was normally placed about four feet away and against my living room wall.

I knew for certain that something was amiss when I spotted very bright lights streaming from my living room wall. Getting up and turning on the lights, I saw that the wall had caved in. What’s up with that? An earthquake?

I made my way (about 3 feet) to my apartment front door (my apartment was about 400 square feet so it wasn’t that far) and I carefully opened the door fearing for the devastation that I would witness on the other side when suddenly someone shouted, “Hey, Look! There was somebody inside!”

With that introduction, my sleepy-faced, pajama-clad self received a loud round of applause from my many new friends who had not slept through the bright yellow 1976 Chevy Camaro slamming into my apartment.

Fortunately, the driver, although drunk - was not injured.

Through this event, I was able to meet and make friends with many neighbors, gaining a certain degree of recognition at “The Village” and eventually becoming roommates with one of The Village’s leasing agents. At work the next day, I finally had something to talk about with my co-workers at break, giving them a taste for my story telling.

With the exception of a short hiatus, I have called Dallas “home” since then.

Some say that “everything happens for a reason” and I tend to agree.

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