Sunday, May 14, 2006

More on the Tunnels

I can elaborate on the tunnels story. You know, it sure seems to me like it was the toward the end of college near graduation too. The only thing is, Mark and I were still roommates and I remember exactly how the bunk beds were arranged when Mark came in looking very spooked and upset. I was sitting on my bed and Frank was sitting at one of the desk chairs when Mark came in and said "I got arrested".

You see, some days or weeks before this incident, someone had discovered that there was a door in the conservatory, inadvertently left unlocked by a custodian or someone, that lead down some stairs to the fabled tunnels beneath Capital's campus. (That's another reason I know this was earlier than senior year - this was in the OLD conservatory before the remodel that happened during our junior year). So, of course, we put a posse together and went back late at night to explore.

I'm not 100% sure who all went on that first adventure other than me and Mark but it was just a few of us. Frank? Did you go that first time or a later time? Anyway, I don't think any of us really thought this was going to work. I mean, if there even were such tunnels, there was probably another locked gate or something that would stop us. Nope. Within minutes we were scampering around water pipes and heating ducts in this strange little underworld.

We were actually able to get inside other buildings on the Conservatory side of campus. We could emerge inside the locked library and even climb the stairwell to the roof. It was great!

We did this once or twice more but then too many people started to get wind of it so I, at least, started backing off. Also, the thrill was wearing off with tunneling on that side of campus. We needed new territory and we'd heard about a second set of tunnels on the other side of the street. Some folks had beaten us to it and there were stories about people making it to the cafeteria and helping themselves to ice cream sandwiches and stuff.

Well, we planned our own low profile trip (I think limited to Mark, Frank, and I) through those tunnels. We knew the entrance was through a side door in the building across from the conservatory. Now, Frank and I never considered going anywhere near the tunnels during the day. Mark, however, on the way back from class, decided to check out the situation to prepare for that night. He ventured in to see if the internal gate was unlocked.

As Mark told the story, the clumsy, out of shape security guard who was sitting on a chair in the shadows jumps up and shouts "FREEZE" and then immediately gets on his walki-talkie shouting "Bexley PD! Bexley PD!" like he was some sort of undercover sleuth on his first stake out. Mark was kicking himself later for not just running out of there since it was just a security guard who was obviously more scared than he was and needed the police to do anything anyway.

Well, apparently, someone had been down there prior to Mark some other night and done some sort of damage or left some evidence that people had been there. Like, I think they were trying to kick in a locked gate. Whatever it was, they wanted to pin it on Mark. Of course, nobody I was with ever did anything like that. We were just looking around. The thrill was that we got in so easily. Breaking in kind of takes the fun out of it.

So, some security guard probably would have been sitting there that night when we went in as planned. As bad an idea it was for Mark to check it out during the day - he probably saved Frank and I from the same fate.


Blogger recovering porcupine said...

What a great story. I graduated in 1990 and I remember the tunnel rumors. I remember seeing a door wide open on several occasions in the con basement, near the west stairwell by the practice rooms. I heard that in places you couldn't stand up, that you just had to crawl or scoot along or something. The bravest I ever got was playing laser lag in Mees after 1am, LOL.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I was another accomplice. I (barely - due to extreme intoxication) remember two different trips through the tunnels - one on the North side of Mound from the Conservatory up to the library - we actually ended up on the roof of the library somehow. Dave, I think I remember having a conversation with you on the roof? Or maybe that was Mark -like I said, it's all very blury.

I remember a second trip through the South of Mound tunnels and in to the cafeteria - though I don't think we took any food or anything. That might have been over the summer.

I couldn't believe it when I heard they were actually trying to prosecute Mark for this. How unlucky he was to be the one person stuck taking the rap when there were so many of us down there at different times. Heck, Katie and I even got caught climbing off the roof of the Con after breaking in with a couple of guys from -- oh heck, I can't remember the name of the frat - the one with all the jocks, I think. I don't even think we got written up. Not sure how we talked our way out of that one!

4:38 AM  
Blogger dave bushey said...

Tiff, you were pretty wasted, but once you, Mark, Aaron and I went tunneling. I remember talking on the roof, boosting you up and over a bookshelf in the library, and borrowing a 3-hole punch from the library for some reason.

I also remember the beginning of that summer, when Mark had to go to court or whatever to settle the tunneling stuff. What a bunch of shit - but it sure was funny.

The security guard that busted Mark was Moleman, right? Wonder if he still works there.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Jim Cherwinski said...

Oddly enough, Mark, Chris Rottmayer, and I were the ones who were in the tunnels and did "some sort of damage" that probably put the rent-a-cops on alert.

Chris and I were telling Mark about some of our many tunneling adventures one night and decided to show off our expertise. We got in to the tunnels through the basement in Schaaf but were suprised to find a locked steel gate blocking our access. Never one to accept defeat, I got some tools out of my car and simply unbolted the gate from the wall and left it leaning there, still locked. No actual damage, but the line had been crossed.

I can't remember alot of details but that trip was pretty innocent other than the gate. We showed Mark which tunnels went to which buildings and left. Then a couple weeks later I heard that Mark had been caught down there and was pretty shocked. I was tunneling all three years I was at Cap and so were a lot of other people, but I guess Chris and I took things a little too far on our Christmas break extravaganza (I'll withhold the gory details because I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is, but ask me at the concert). In our defense we never actually destroyed anything, just took some food that one time. Pretty stupid, but we were young and foolish and having a blast.

Chris and I almost got caught another time when we startled a security guard by walking out of a closet in the basement of the campus center around midnight. He was so shocked that he just kept asking us what we were doing as we walked up the stairs and out the door.

2:31 PM  

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