On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Corvallis Police Department received a loud party complaint for an apartment on Southwest Leonard Street.
The police report noted that the department had experienced previous problems at that address. The officer parked one block away and heard the sound of loud music and thumping bass. Voices could be heard above the sound of the music. The officer was 300 feet away.
It was 11:24 p.m. Officers would remain at that site for nearly four hours, interviewing witnesses and neighbors and arresting four people in the apartment.
At the end of the night, the party had racked up a bill from the police for $952.65.
I live in a college town. I sleep with my window open. Almost all of the residences in my neighborhood are rentals. And on New Year's Eve the parties were in full swing by 8pm, running until almost 5am.
Since I didn't expect to sleep well, I turned on the fan in my window to help blot out at least some of the noise.
Really boring, except that I had noticed this article in the local paper ten days ago and I've been hanging onto it today so I could drag it out as background for the expected story about how my neighbors kept me awake all night.
Guess what? By 3am, it was quiet in my neighborhood! I don't know whether my neighborhood Student Princes read the story and were scared off, or if they're just more mature (or more wimpy) than those of previous years.
On Cinco de Mayo a few years ago .. which fell on a Thursday ... I actually paid a visit to a neighbor who lived in the one-floor apartment complex just over my back fence. There were teenagers dancing in the parking lot, fighting, the doors to the 'host' apartment were wide open and the music was playing at full volume. Mariachi music .. unsafe at any speed!
I found the host; he was a patriotic Mexican citizen and about twice my size. Also, very drunk. When I identified myself as his neighbor, and asked him to PLEASE quiet down the party because I had to be at work the morning (and I needed some sleep!), he started puffing up. He looked like he was going to throw a punch, until his girl-friend pointed out that I was paying him the courtesy of asking him, instead of just phoning the police. She talked him down, the party went back inside, and although it was still loud the noise was at least muffled. I could live with that.
There was a moment there when I actually regretted my decision NOT to carry when I went to 'visit my neighbor'. (Two days later he woke up the neighborhood at 5am playing "El Deguello". I ignored it. He moved out the next month, at the end of the term. Too much partying to maintain his GPA? I never knew.)
That was the last time I ever actually paid a call on my neighbors. I realized that when a party gets that far out of control, a Good Neighbor policy isn't always appreciated.
In fact, this town has a separate phone number for 'loud party' calls, just to keep their 911 line clear.
Judging from this article, I'm not the only resident who has learned that it's better to call the police than to be what might be considered "confrontational". Perhaps we permanent residents are just getting old. Or wiser.
(Actually, the police policy isn't all that strict. It's applied when a resident has a VERY loud party, they've been visited by the police more than once 'recently' for similar reasons, and there are extenuating factors such as minors present ... especially if the minors are drinking. Then the hosts are billed for police salaries, use of police cars, and other city services.)
I DO remember when I was one of those students who were either hosting or attending parties. It was a long time ago. Great memories of young girls dancing The Frug and vomiting on the patio while people were jumping full-dressed into the pool. My landlady wasn't happy with me, but I did clean up the mess in the morning and the neighbors didn't complain. Maybe I was a wimpy student?
But it was a learning experience for me.
I haven't mixed soft drinks with alcohol since 1967. I had thought it would keep me from getting drunk; instead, it just made me sick to my stomach. Any drink that tastes better going down than it does coming back up is A Bad Idea.
I know: Too Much Information.