A Blast From The Past

I am an only child...almost. My father got remarried after my mom and adopted his new wife's daughter so that gave me a sister, Tori. Years later (many years later) after my mom got remarried. Her and her new husband had a son so then I had a brother. Andy was born the day before my 21st birthday and he was the cutest, best little boy in the world! I think he still is but he's a young man now. Boy! Time flies!

As I mentioned in a previous post, when you're from South Dakota, you go to the Black Hills...a lot! It was the weekend of Andy's second birthday and we wanted to have a little vacation. The four of us (Mom, her husband Russ, Andy and me) headed to Rapid City. We were staying at the Holiday Inn which is an 8 floor hotel based on an atrium plan. The inside was open all the way to the top with the rooms around the outside. That's high design for South Dakota!

One night (I think it was the second one) the fire alarm went off at 4am. I did NOT want to get out of bed. After a few minutes, my mom came into my room and said that we better get up. She thought we should get dressed first and go to the bathroom. In the meantime, I looked out the window and there were already people outside of the hotel in their PJs. Well, we got dressed and started to head out the door with me leading the way. When we opened the door we heard someone yell from the bottom of the atrium, "GET BACK IN YOUR ROOMS!!! THERE'S NO FIRE!! GO BACK IN YOUR ROOMS!!!!" Well, I'm a smoker and I wanted to smoke which I couldn't do in the room. I continued to head out the door to smoke when Russ grabbed me and pulled me back. As soon as the door shut a gun shot when off!

There was a gunman in the hotel!! What the hell was going on?!?! This was South Dakota for goodness sakes! We weren't in the middle of DC or Atlanta! This was South Dakota, the safest place I've ever known.

Well, Russ pulled us all away from the door and into the other room (we had a suite, if you can call it that). We turned on the TV and at first there was nothing then the local news team showed up to fill us in. In turns out that a guy about 19 stole some guns and came to the hotel looking for his girlfriend, well, ex girlfriend. She wasn't working so he decided to take the front desk people hostage and head to the 8th floor. He pulled the fire alarm and when people started coming out of the rooms, he grabbed some of them and forced everyone into their room.

We were getting all the info from the TV. No one from the hotel called while this was going on. Yes, the front desk staff was unavailable but I'm sure the manager of the hotel was called or at least the next person in charge. But we heard nothing from them!

Mom and I looked at each other and I asked her what she thought we would be doing if we were up at this time on purpose. She looked and me and said drinking a beer! So we cracked a few and continued to watch TV. By then, Russ figured out where the camera crew was set up. He called us over to the TV and said "Watch this." He started flipping the lights on and off and we saw our room on TV! It was pretty funny...especially after a few beers!

My mom decided to let me smoke by the window in the room, which was VERY nice of her. While I was smoking a cig, I decided to call my boss back in Virginia. He answered the phone and immediately ask where I was. I said that we were in Rapid City. He said that some nut was holding people hostage at the Holiday Inn and I told him that was exactly where we were! Again, it was funny! At that point we were down to just a half of a roll of toilet paper! We were starting to worry about that.

In the end, the gunman let everyone go and shot himself in the stomach as the cops were coming in the room to get him. I never found out what happened to him. Oh well! We were finally "released" from the hotel at 11am. We ended up being one of the lucky ones. Remember those people that went out of the hotel in their PJs? They spent the night in the convention center with NOTHING!!! At least we had beer! When we checked out of the hotel, they weren't even going to offer us a discount for that night! They didn't even mention it until my mom brought it up.

That was one of my brushes with danger during my life so far. I also have a story about a bank robber but I will NEVER tell that story!!! Do you have a brush with danger? What was it like?

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 and is filed under , , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


Oh, you know - a bunch. Nothing better to make one feel alive than almost dieing.

I've actually been at (one time beyond) the edge three or four times. On the occasions I got that close, I didn't escape totally unscathed. I bear the scars to prove it. On the other hand, I have a healthy appreciation for life.



Never mind a discount, you should have had the night free!

I don't think I've ever had a brush with danger, certainly nothing memorable.

dude! You commented on my friend Linda's blog and I live very close to you. (in Purcellville!)
Just wanted to say hello.

I can't think of any brushes of danger like you have experienced ... but I have been in about a gazillion car accidents (where I was both driving and riding). I am happy my luck didn't run out during each of htem, if you know what I mean!

That's a bit too much excitement for me!

I nearly got run down by a bus once but that's about it!

I know smoking is bad for you, but I never thought it would lead to you being held hostage!

I have had a few brushes with danger. I prefer not to talk about them. They were pretty freaking scary. Except when I was carjacked when I was three. My mother was traumatized, but I was too young. I just remember a guy with a knife coming up to her car window and telling her, "Get the baby, and get out." Maybe I was afraid at the time, but I just remember being annoyed that he called me a baby.


Wow! Car-Jacked? That's pretty big. I bet your mom was scared to death!!

Thanks for stopping by!

I came close twice while on the submarine. Once while under the polar ice cap and the other in a location where if I told you, I would have to kill everyone who read this. Unfortunately I signed a piece of paper when I left the navy that does not allow me to disclose any details.

The Black Hills, wasn't that Deadwood territory?