Festum Firmus MCMLXXXVI
Welcome to 1986. The place? Muncie, Indiana, just off the Ball State Campus at 122 N. Martin Street.Yeah, that’s me on the left giving the ol’ thumbs up, with Randy Weddle in the middle, my best friend, Brent Smith, on the right, and Mark Bosler in the foreground.
Hard to believe that was almost 30 years ago. I have a lot of memories from that place. A lot of good ones. A few bad ones. Fact is, I wouldn’t have traded those few months for anything. I learned a lot about life then. Hard lessons. And I earned every one of them.
Here’s one for you. We’d just moved into the place. I took the smallest room in the back, just off the kitchen. It came together pretty quick. I didn’t have much: a single bed, a beat up dresser, some books, my guitar (a cheap Lotus Strat copy that electrocuted me every time I worked up a sweat) and a Peavey mini-stack amp. I plastered the walls with posters and pictures torn out of library books — mostly pics from Norse Myth and Aleister Crowley-related stuff.
Brent’s room was a bit more work. I swear it took us two days to set up his waterbed and move all his stuff into that front bedroom. Might have gone quicker, but we were drinking more than a few beers while we worked. I remember he had these huge stacks of clothes, mostly cut-off jeans and Hawaiian shirts, towering along one wall.
Well, once everything was settled we decided to have a house warming party for ourselves. This was on the evening of our second night at the place. Keep that in mind.
By 10 o’clock we had roughly 300 people crammed into an 800 foot square house with another 100 or so on the front and side lawn. It’d all gotten quite out of control, but the kegs were flowing, people were dancing, and seemingly having a helluva good time.
Me? Not so much. I wasn’t one for crowds, to be honest. I was in my room, door closed tight against the throng, getting high, playing my guitar, and drinking rum with the Dicks Street girls, Sara and Linda, and a couple of their friends, when a hurried pounding on the door drew me to it.
I slid off my axe and opened the door to see Brent there with a grin as wide as the world.
“Cops!” he said, “It’s a bust!”
That’s when two Muncie City Police walked in the back door with our landlord, a greasy little weasel of a man that gave me the creeps whenever I was in his presence.
“What’s the meaning of this?” he shouted into Brent’s and my face.
“It’s just a little party,” Brent replied sheepishly. “No one’s getting hurt.”
I looked past our landlord and saw two pretty college girls dancing on top of our kitchen table. They smiled at me. I stared at them with terror in my eyes. I glanced at Brent. He glanced at me. We both looked back at the girls on the table just as the table gave way, breaking in two and sending the girls sprawling.
Needless to say, we were evicted on the spot. The party was shut down. The cops ran everyone off (but no one went to jail). We had been given 24 hours to vacate the property.
The next morning, hungover as hell, Boz, Brent, and I discussed what we should do.
Brent suggested we do nothing. Just don’t leave. And that’s what we did. I think we got “evicted” from there three more times before the end of the semester and we made the move over to Ashland Street.
All in all, it was a smashingly awesome place to hang our hats for the brief span of time that we did.
Remind me to tell you about the paranormal goings on there sometime.
The house on Martin was a lot of things, but dull was not one of them.