(Part of this came from a post I wrote in 2015 on the 50th anniversary of the Great Northeast Blackout of November 9, 1965, which I repeat for a sad reason.)
On the evening of November 9, 1965, I was 12 years old and in 8th grade. I was walking home from a girl friend's house. I had spent the afternoon with her, pounding my "great American novel" out on her typewriter. It was getting dark.
About 5:20 pm I entered my apartment building to find the lights dimming, flickering, and coming back on again.
What I did not know was that a chain reaction power failure had started several minutes before, up in Canada. Like a wave, city after city went dark. Now, in New York City, it was our turn. By the time the chain reaction ended, some 30 million people were in the dark, dependent on a full moon for their light.
An elevator was waiting in the lobby of my apartment building; I made a split second decision not to take it and took the stairs to my fourth floor apartment instead.
A couple of minutes after entering it, my apartment went dark. We were more fortunate than many - growing up Jewish, we had candles - plenty of them, in the house. I had a battery powered radio and, listening to it, I gradually realized it wasn't just our neighborhood.
800,000 people were stuck on the subways- my father was one of them.I was alone with my mother. But it was not a party for me.
By the time our electricity was restored (around 6am the next morning), my life had changed forever. For me, it was one of the darkest nights of my life.
During the blackout, my mother, who had not been in the best of health, died. It is something incredibly hard for me to write about. The echoes of that night still resonate in me, and always will.
But, time does heal. And one thing that helped to sustain me during the blackout, listening on that tinny radio as candles flickered, was the voice of Dan Ingram.
He stayed with WABC until it went to all talk in 1982, and ended up with WCBS-FM. He retired in 2003.