The Pound Ridge 11: A #TBT from Philly B

Memories, How Can We Make It Back There?

Memories; they are what we talk about the most among our friends, what makes us who we are. Some good, some bad, some funny, some sad, nonetheless they shape our lives forever and play a part in who we become later in life. I, being a comedian at heart, like to take embarrassing and bad times that I’ve had and make light of them, or possibly bring some sort of positive to it. This incident in particular is a pretty well-known story among my friends, and possibly my graduating class (started with 666 students, ended fewer than 350, scholars) and should serve as a lesson to any kid or teenager that feels that they are invincible. Cue the Wayne’s World flashback.

It was my senior year in high school; class was something to pass time in between partying and hanging out with friends, the last hockey season of my high school career was about to end, and to be honest, I really didn’t do anything crazy…yet. On this particular night, I had told my parents that I was staying at my buddy Chippy’s house to hang out and play some video games. Little did she know that as soon as I got there, Chippy told me we were going to go on a little adventure. To where? No idea, but I figured “hey, here’s my chance to do something memorable” so I just went with it.

“The Moonies”

Now, Chippy had just gotten his license and technically wasn’t allowed to drive anyone, but again we were 17 years old and thought the world couldn’t stop us. Chip, his brother and I met up with eight of our friends at Bulls Head Diner and discussed what we were about to get ourselves into. All around school at the time there had been talk about the “Moonies”; a group of people who live on a compound in Pound Ridge. Kids in the area would go up to the compound to take a look for themselves, rumors of people being killed and brainwashed circulated, and gave us enough curiosity to check it out ourselves. We packed 11 of us in 2 separate cars and ventured to Pound Ridge, all while my mom and dad thought I’m playing Xbox at my buddy’s house.

In the car was me, Chippy, his brother TJ, and two of my friends. The other car was packed with 6 kids, all waiting to see what the Moonie hype was about. Once we got there, we noticed two huge stone pillars on each side of a one lane path leading into the woods with signs that said “Zen Buddhist Monastery”, “Do Not Enter” or “No Trespassing”. Fuck that. We

This is what
This is what “The Moonies” looks like now

drove through the woods on that one lane path through a sea of bamboo on the sides and ended up in the notorious round lot. We made it.

Once we were in the round lot, we conversed with our friends in the other car about how cool it was, shining our brights on the wood houses on the top of the hill which had paintings of rainbows and unicorns on them (freaky shit, trust me). This wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to do more than any other kid in our school did. It was at this moment we decided to try and drive up the hill and get close to the houses. The hill was the width of one car and we’d fall off if we turned left or right. Getting shook, we decided half way up the hill that we wanted to go down and leave. That’s when we noticed the headlights behind us speeding to the round lot. Here’s where shit hits the fan.

“Now You’s Can’t Leave”

A pickup truck, who we later found out was the caretaker of the property, had just parked behind our two cars on the narrow hill, making it impossible for us to back into the round lot. Realizing we were caught, I figure it would be the same routine: adult gets out of car, adult yells at kids for being kids, we leave. The driver of the truck got out, sporting an undershirt and dirty jeans, and made his way to the first car. When my buddy rolled his window down to talk to him, he proceeded to reach into the car and choke him. I remember watching this in horror, not knowing what to expect next. After a few seconds of strangling my friend, he let go and proceeded to go back into his car. I had no idea what was going to happen.

A half hour passed and we’re still parked on the hill with the whack job caretaker blocking us from leaving. TJ, who was very built in form, decided that he was gonna get out of the car and try to reason with him, seeing as he’s the biggest. Makes sense right? Wrong. As soon as Chippy’s brother got out of the car, the caretaker opened his truck doors where two pit bulls ran out and ran towards our car. Naturally, TJ ran back into the car and we were back to square one. One thought raced through our heads: what now?

Just When You Thought It Was Safe…

After some thinking, one of our friends realized that his uncle was a Stamford Police officer, and could probably get us out of this. Using whatever reception he can get from his phone, he was able to call his uncle and tell him the deal. An hour later, he showed up in the round lot of the property and the caretaker reversed down to talk to him. Now you would think that once the cops are involved its over, right? Well, the caretaker knew that he was a Stamford cop in Pound Ridge, informed him he was out of his jurisdiction, and basically told him to go fuck himself. After the cop left, the caretaker drove back up the hill and blocked us in once again. All this time I’m playing Tetris on my phone and wondering how bad I’m going to get it when I get home.

After another hour and a half of sitting on that hill, the Pound Ridge police finally came and we all made our way down to the round lot. Knowing he would be fucked if they found out he was driving with a new license, Chippy and TJ quickly switched seats before the cop made their way to our car. After a brief discussion, we were escorted off the property and taken to the Pound Ridge Police station, which for the record is the size of your average walk in closet.

The Pound Ridge Police Station
The Pound Ridge Police Station

It was currently 1:30AM. I was about to call my parents and let them know that we took a detour on our way to Chippy’s and landed ourselves in a police station. My father picked up, knowing that something wasn’t right. After telling him what happened, he asked me “you know you’re dumb for this, right?” I agreed. He said he was on his way to get me, which in my opinion was scarier than sitting in that car. One by one, we took turns looking out the blinds of the police station window to see our parents gathering outside waiting for us to finish writing our testimonies.

What A Time To (Still) Be Alive!

Everyone was saying how mad their parents looked, while I noticed my dad was the only one laughing. In the end (and after court), we all were given probation in Pound Ridge and also had to write an article in our school paper about religious tolerance. That and I got called a criminal by my brother for about a month. From that day on, we went down as the Pound Ridge 11.

At the time, we thought we were untouchable. Nothing could happen. We were wrong. What we did was stupid, immature, and almost got us all seriously hurt or arrested. Was it worth it? Of course! We all learn from our mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can be some of our most memorable moments in our life.

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