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Story ID:9153
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Bolling Field D.C. USA
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By Fred Wickert

Yesterday I was thinking of the horrors of my last known episode of sleep walking. That lead me to think about earlier episodes and I decided to share them. I suspect some of this will provoke a chuckle or two.

The first recollection I have of being told I was sleep walking is from when I was a child. You will understand I have no recollection of sleep walking myself, as I was asleep and not aware of what I was doing. All I know of it is what I was told the following day, except the last one. In that one I was informed immediately upon wakening, which was rather abrupt.

I was a child of around 7 or 8 years old. We were living on a farm a half mile outside the city of Syracuse, New York. The house was a three story building. On the ground floor a room stretched across the entire front of the house, except for one corner where there was a small porch. There were windows on the sides of that room and all the way across the front. There were also two windows that opened on to the front porch. The porch had steps on the side and the front door entered from the porch in to the living room. Except for the stair case the living room stretched the full width of the house. An archway entered the front room, called the sun parlor, from the center of the living room. There were house plants growing in the windows across the front of the sun parlor. To the right was a sofa and the radio. To the left was Grandma’s upright piano. Inside the front windows were a straight backed chair and a rocking chair and Mom’s big harp sitting on the floor between them

My younger sister Priscilla and I had been sent to bed early. There were to be some visitors coming to our home, unknown to Priscilla and I. Our older two sisters were aware and were a part of whatever was going on that night. As I understand it there were between 10 and 12 people there that evening. I guess they played games and had refreshments in addition to conversation and possibly some music.

I am told that I suddenly emerged into the living room from the door at the bottom of the stairs, clad only in my under pants. Much to the amusement of our guests, I kept saying over and over, “I wanna, I wanna, I wanna.” I am told people kept asking me what did I want and that after some time, I replied that I wanted a slice of bread. All in the room were aware that I was still asleep and had never opened my eyes.

My mother told me I could not have any bread and told me to go back to bed. My room was on the third floor in the rear. I am told that upon being told to go back to bed, I proceeded to go into the sun parlor with all following me to see what I would do next. I turned to the left past Grandma’s piano to the windows. It was a warm summer evening and the windows were wide open. It is said when I reached the open windows, I took out my weenie, proceeded to pee out the window through the screen and on to the front porch. When I finished I abruptly put my weenie back in my underpants and left the room, up the stairs and back to bed.

The next morning I heard all about it in huge disbelief. I was sort of made a believer when made to clean up the puddle on the front porch. I assume our guests walked around it when they left the house that night.

While I was growing up, I was told a couple of times about other episodes of sleep walking where nothing happened out of the ordinary.

While I was in high school we no longer lived on the farm. Dad had returned to teaching and we were living where my real years of growing occurred in the town of Gilboa, NY. My middle sister, Ruth, was dating the guy she eventually married. His name was Walter Weaver and he and I got along very well, and they invited me and my girl friend to double date with them sometimes. In that house, the door to my bed room was the center room looking out the front of the house. My parent’s room was on the left front corner, Priscilla’s room past mine on the front and Ruth’s room door was straight across from the top of the stairs. Grandma’s room was in the back.

One morning I was informed that Ruth had come home from a date with Walt, talked a bit with Mom, and went upstairs to her room. After she had been in her room for a few minutes, I entered her room still asleep. She asked me what I wanted and I asked, “Where’s Walt?” She said she told me, “Well he’s not here, now go back to bed.” After being told that, I did as told. I went back to bed.

I never had any awareness or recollection at all about these events. There was still one more episode to come, and it was to be far more dramatic than the other episodes.

I had finished high school and Ruth and Walt were married and had a child. I had been to Cornell University for a semester and a half and dropped out. I spent a month on the farm with Ruth and Walt and then joined the Air Force. After basic training I went to Combat Air Police School and in the fall, was assigned to my first permanent duty station. It was in the year of 1953.

I was assigned to Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. The base was on the banks of the Patomac River. At that time it was also an active flying Air Base. Inside the main gate, on the right side of the street there was a long two story brick building. The Air Police were quartered in an open area on the second floor of that building. The end of the room had huge windows that reached from just above the floor to the ceiling. The windows overlooked the Bolling flight line and directly across the river to the National Airport, now Reagan Air Port flight line.

Depending on the wind direction, traffic from Washington National came low over the roof of our building as they landed and took off from National. When they took off at night their landing lights fully lit up our open barracks.

There was a double row of steel wall lockers that stood down the center of the large room. There were beds on both sides near the windows and across the back of the room facing the windows overlooking the flight line. The beds were full twin size beds, stacked two high, with the foot locker of the bottom man on one end and the foot locker of the top man on the other end on the floor. The top of the top bed mattress was about seven feet above the floor.

I was in the top bed. It was about two A.M. in the morning. All was quiet and everyone was sleeping. I began to dream. In my dream, I saw a plane taking off from National Airport. It was not getting enough altitude and it’s lights lit up the room. I could tell it was going to crash right through the windows at the end of the bay and kill us all. In my dream I began to run for my life and I was screaming for everyone to run for their lives, and that he was coming in for a landing.

The next thing I knew, I woke up sitting on the tile covered concrete floor, wondering how I got there. The man in the bottom half of the next bunk was sitting up in bed, leaning toward me and screaming, “What’s the matter with you? Are you crazy?” To which I asked what happened?

All I knew was I was sitting on the floor and had no clue how I got there. For a couple of minutes there was considerable conversation. First was to insure there was no danger of a plane coming in the window. Second, was to determine whether I was in need of an ambulance, and then to figure out just what happened. I had flown out of bed, trying to run supposedly, clearing the foot of the bed and the two foot width of the foot locker, and then landing another foot or more in front of the foot locker. Some of the men said it sounded as if I had broken every bone in my body when I landed on the floor. There was a loud smacking sound as I hit the floor according to some.

I had not a scratch. Not even a bruise on my buttocks. I considered that a small miracle. Some of the men told me they woke up and heard me screaming, and were scared by it. A couple of them looked for the incoming plane, but there was none. All was quiet, except for me, that is. Two of them said they woke up from my screaming, looked over at me and saw me. They said it looked as if I were suspended in the air just past the foot of the bed before I came crashing down to the floor.

There was no harm done. I got back in bed. In a few minutes the talking was over and we all went back to sleep with no further incident. Needless to say, I was on the receiving end of a lot of jokes over that for the rest of the time I was stationed there.

That was the final episode of my sleep walking. As far as I know I have never walked, or flown out of bed again for the remainder of my long life. That was about 60 years ago and I think it is probably safe to say there will not be another episode before I pass over to the great beyond.

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