That being said, in the spring of my senior year, I convinced my parents to allow me to stay home and have three girlfriends come and stay with me while they went away for the weekend. It took a lot of begging, pleading, and cajoling. The fact that my oldest brother, who was married and had a family, lived about 200 yards away from our house, within full view of the place, was finally the deciding factor. My girlfriends and I were excited—a two-night pajama party. Mom made sure the refrigerator was stocked with plenty of soda and munchies. (Times were a little different than today; drugs were unheard of, and alcohol was not a part of our social activities. That’s not to say there was no teenage drinking, but it was much less common than it is today.)
Word got out, as those things do, that Eva was having a pajama party and her parents were not going to be present. My girlfriends came over after school on Friday, and the fun began. We made pizza for supper, played records (the old 45 rpm jobs), did our nails, and gossiped—all the usual girlie things. Shortly after midnight, we ran out of steam and went to bed. (Picture 4 girls trying to sleep horizontally on a double bed—we were all pretty thin and petite, so it worked.)
Somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., three or four senior boys decided to come over and scare us by rapping on my first floor bedroom windows. We panicked, as would be expected, then realized the intruders were friends, so we let them in. More soda was poured (Dad was a teetotaler and did not allow alcohol in the house, so even if we had inclinations in that direction—we would have come up empty-handed.) We talked and laughed and ate Mom’s chocolate chip cookies and listened to more records, and then around 4:30 a.m., the boys left.
It was all perfectly innocent, but I knew my mother would not see it that way. I had allowed some of the male species onto the premises unsupervised! Even worse, I was wearing my Jammies for this social event! I knew I was in deep doo-doo. There was a possibility that my brother and his wife had slept through the whole event, but if they hadn’t, and reported my transgression to my parents before I did, I knew there would be hell to pay! So I confessed as soon as my parents returned, and of course, was grounded for a couple of weeks. Graduation came and went and the incident was forgotten—or so I thought.
An urban (or maybe in this case, a SUBurban) legend was born. By the time we had our first class reunion, the story had been embellished a bit, and the words “panty raid” began to be bandied about. The pajama party was in the spring of 1963 and panty raids were in the news quite frequently in the 1960’s. Jerry, the ringleader of the early morning marauders, loved to perpetuate the “legend.”
By the time we attended our 45th class reunion last summer, he was retelling the “panty raid” tale and bragging that he had saved a pair of my panties as a souvenir. Of course, it was just too good a story to let it go.
Yesterday, my husband and I met Jerry and his wife and few friends for lunch at restaurant just up the street from the school from which we had graduated all those years ago. And, sure enough—Jerry greeted me with a hug and announced that he had something of mine. The picture below tells it all!
NOTE: If they even made thongs in 1963 and my mother had ever found one in my possession, I'd STILL be grounded today!!