Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

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It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

No, Sgt. Pepper didn't teach the band to play. And it might not have been the 26th exactly, but close enough. What the heck am I talking about? 20 years ago this week I wore my first fursuit. I was a junior at the University of Illinois and I had an apartment near University and 1st where there was a costume shop. I was already on the path to furry by this point. My room was filled with all things bear related. I decided that for Halloween I would finally become a bear.

I went to the store and found a bearsuit. It was pretty plain, but just putting it on was a dream come true. I stood there looking at myself in the mirror trying not to get a raging stiffy. I decided that since I was there, I would try on other critters. I eventually put on a raccoon suit that I fell in love with. And so I rented the raccoon.

There was a home football game that weekend and so I wore the suit without the head to the game. That was a lot of fun. I even have a pic of my mom and dad helping me into suit in the parking lot. After the game we retreated to the apartment and waited for the festivities to begin.

It had been tradition that Green Street, which was the main drag through campus, gets closed and there is a giant street party. I was a bit worried that I would overheat in suit, but that night the temperature was in the 40's. My visibility was through a tiny screen in the forehead. It quickly started to frost over as we walked down the street. At one point one of my roommates grabbed me and swung me around into a blinding light. It was a news crew! I was gonna be on t.v.! We proceeded into the crowd and the melee began. I had girls doing terrible things with my tail. I was hugged by anyone and everyone! I tried to tip over every garbage can that I could. It was a marvelous time! We decided to go to a friend's dorm room and order up some pizza.

By the time we had finished the pizza it was about 2 a.m. My roommate and I started home. When we got to Green Street it looked like downtown Beirut. There was garbage everywhere! There was a dumpster burning in the middle of one of the intersections with a flaming sofa sticking out the top. There were people running drunkenly in every direction. Beer bottles were flying. Lucky for me I had my nice foam head. My roommate turned me around and showed me the line of police in riot gear lining the entire street slowly walking forward. I gave them a friendly coon wave and got the hell out of there.

The next day there I was on the news! I was so happy! It turned out that the Halloween Riot, as it was later known, was a major news story for many days and weeks to come. And every time they showed footage, there I was. Good times!

That was essentially the death of the U of I Halloween street party. They moved the party off Green Street and controlled it to death. I don't know if there is any type of celebration any more.

Oh....and a pic!

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