Posted by: anniewilson | February 8, 2005


Back in the day…the day when I was young and my biggest fear was not having a date for Saturday night, I was arrested. It was by the Sears Tower police, but they kept me in an office, thier own form of jail and wouldn’t let me go until I was “booked”. Actually, Karen McFall was booked because I had her fake ID. In Illinios, in the late 70’s, they changed from a little paper driver’s license to a laminated one. Most kids just said they lost the paper one and got their new one. There wasn’t a picture on the paper one and if the vital details fit, you could use anyone’s ID. Well, Karen had red hair, she was 5’8″ tall and she weighed 117 lbs. She was me!

I was only 17 and in Illinios, at the time, you had to be 19 to drink beer and wine, 21 for liquor. I know that made no sense but that’s the way it was. My best friend, Caryn, and I went downtown and planned to go to John Quincy on Adam’s, a little bar we enjoyed. I needed the fake ID. (To show you how stupid the drinking laws were, you only had to be 18 to drink ANYTHING in Wisconsin, so all of us little 18 year old kids from the Chicago suburbs would drive up Highway 45 to Lake Geneva Wisconsin, get drunk, and drive home. My friends and I usually just got a room to pass out in rather than drive back down Suicide Highway. It got that name from all the drunk 18 year olds who drove back drunk and killed themselves.)

Anyway, Caryn and I went downtown for a day of fun. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Yacht Club, and as we often did, we stole a dinghy and paddled out to find an empty yacht and play on it. At some point in the day, we wanted to go to the Observation Deck of the Sears Tower. The problem was, we only had enough cash to take the train home, none to pay for the ride up to the Observation Deck. So, bright young women that we were, we took the public elevator up as far as it would take us, the 65th floor. Then we went into the staircase and started climbing the stairs.

Every 5 floors, there was a red phone that said, “Pick up in case you are locked in this staircase”. We laughed at the fools who would find themselves in such a dumb predicament and kept on truckin’ up those stairs. We knew we should be heading for the 110th floor, if memory serves, so we kept going. Somewhere around the 101rst floor, we tried to get out of the staircase. Well, guess what? Just like the University Union doors, they were all locked from the outside so we were indeed now, a couple of fools. Oh, we didn’t try just one door. We ran up and down the stairs trying them all before we had to just pick up one of the red phones and say, “Hello? We are a couple of jack asses and are stuck in the staircase on the 77th floor.” We had seen damage along the way and some trash but we didn’t do a BIT of it! We were just trying to scam our way up to the deck, not hurt anything. Well, they let us out. But they wouldn’t let us go. We had to go to their security office and get “booked”. At the time, we didn’t know that the Sears Tower Police Department wasn’t really a police department and we were young enough to be scared shitless. We turned over our ID’s, well, I turned over Karen McFall’s and Caryn turned over her own.

Luckily, they didn’t hold Caryn or Karen responsible for the damage. It was years before I ever told my parents. Damn, if I had only stayed in that staircase, I would have been able to avoid Rick.


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