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The MG Under the Library

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The words of this story are not ours.
The story is being told by an eyewitness, someone who was there, or at least claims to have been there. He, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous. Whether you believe he was there or not is up to you. Like so many things in this world that are true, there is no empirical evidence. But whether you believe it or not, it's a good story, one worth telling. Here's his reply to the question: is there really an MG under the library?

library image"So, geez -- you want to know if there's a MG under the new wing of the library at Reed? And you want to know if I have proof? What do you imagine would constitute proof? A photo of such a car in a hole dug in what appears to be a gravel-covered area, perhaps the foundation pit of a new building, surrounded by what would prove, with a little research, to be a bunch of Reedies, most of whom graduated in the spring of 1988? That would certainly be something, but I haven't got that.

"There's only so much I can tell you. It's a fact that the foundation for the new wing was poured on the Monday following graduation that spring. I don't remember what day graduation was, though it was of course a Sunday; you can confirm this, if you like. It's also a fact that a fellow named Mark Verna had graduated (I think -- maybe he just split) the year before. It's also a fact that he had an old, maybe early-mid seventies green MG. It's also a fact that it had Alaska plates and was beat all to hell. You wouldn't'a got five hundred for it.

mg image"Imagine that on a Saturday night in the spring of '88 a bunch of people were at the Whirlpool, a Reed house next to the old Whirlpool dealership up on Woodstock, and it was a party because many of us were graduating the next morning. Pretend a couple of people came over -- one to whom Verna spoke before he left, asking that his car be looked after -- and pretend they had this plan. The foundation, they knew, was being poured Monday. Imagine shovels were gathered up. "Imagine there are 18 people standing around, men and women. Imagine it has taken them almost four hours to dig this hole. Now, have you ever lifted up the front end of an old VW bug? They're light, right? So pretend that the car's just lowered down on a rope or two, and yanked on until it fell and sat there, tight in its little hole in the pit. "Imagine we let all the air out of the tires, smashed the windshield down, packed dirt in slowly and tightly. Imagine the dirt packed in tightly tightly tightly, and the gravel laid down at the end, and pretend there's dirt left over -- a bit, really -- and that this is scattered far and wide across the floor of the pit, scuffled in as best folks could. Pretend dawn was coming on as we finally got it all done and got out of there. A bunch of us graduated that morning. Imagine the pit was watched and the foundation poured. "Imagine us staring at this 2,000-lb. Hauser Libraryfact, sitting there in this hole, and knowing that it would be there in a year, covered over by a library wing stories high. And imagine how we knew that our friends would believe we had done this. And imagine how we would know that some of these friends would tell incoming students that they knew someone who had buried a car under the library and it would turn right into urban college myth. That is, everyone would know the story, but no one would believe it. Of course, what those Reedies most grooved on was that it would live as urban myth -- despite the fact that it wasn't one at all. It was a big, green fact."

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