A long time ago, when I was in college, I received a phone call from my friend Matt. He too was going to school in Lexington, Kentucky and I in Florida. It was in spring time and school was just getting ready to close-up. He asked for a ride back down to South Florida where we both lived when not in school.
I agreed. I always enjoyed the trip up to Lexington going through Georgia and Tennessee, then Kentucky. I left that coming weekend. I drove up and arrived late Sunday evening. We hung out and visited. He caught me up with what was going on in his life.
We went to bed and rose up on Monday. Late that afternoon he asked if I wanted to see the moon rocks brought back by the astronauts from their last mission that were on display at the Air Force R.O.T.C. building on campus. I said sure. While viewing them we somehow got locked inside the building. We tried all the exits that would not set off the fire alarm. No use. Matt said he once worked at a movie theater that had similar doors and you could “pop the lock” by pushing on both doors at the same time. We tried it and were treated to a shower of glass and a sounding alarm. We escaped through the hole that was once a window. We ran like hell.
The next day we returned to survey the scene. It was surrounded by police but not for the reason you think. Someone had entered and set fire to the place during a demonstration that evening. You see that was the day of another demonstration 83 miles to the north at a school called Kent State. Later that night police from all over the state and National Guard troops arrived. We were advised by friends to get out of town because neither of us were currently students and would be seen as outside agitators who would be promptly arrested, thrown in jail, and they would throw away the key.
We soon left for Florida. We drove straight from Lexington to Florida, constantly looking over our shoulders fearing the worst, sure that every city cop, sheriff, state trooper, National Guardsman and F.B.I. agent was looking for us.
First stop was in Gainesville to pick up some of my things and see my sister. As we were sitting around the house visiting she said, “There is a demonstration planned to protest expanding the war (in Vietnam), invading Cambodia, and the killings at Kent State. Want to attend?” Matt and I just looked at each other and replied, “No, we think we will sit this one out.”