House On Fire

One night back in 1971 my friend and I were returning from a Sha-Na-Na concert in Boston. Mark drove along the Jamaica Way and after rounding the circle at the entrance to Arnold’s Arboretum he sped up toward Forest Hills. His Nova had a lot of pull for a V-6. Both of us were digging Jimi Hendrix’s HOUSE BURNING DOWN on the 8-track, then Mark exclaimed, “Man, look at that.”

A house was ablaze atop a hill.

There were no fire trucks in sight.

“Let’s check this out.” Mark exited from the Arborway and headed toward the conflagration.

We got out of the car and shouted out, “Is anyone in there?”

The house looked abandoned, but Mark wanted to make sure.

“Where you going?” I asked, because the flames were spreading down from the top floor.

“Making sure no one is in there.” Mark stepped onto the porch, lifting his arm to shield himself from the heat. He backed away and I smelled that the fire had singed his jacket.

“No one’s in there.”

We heard the sirens of fire trucks.

“Let’s go.” Mark trotted back to his car. “If the cops come, they’ll think we set it.”

“They like neat stories.”

We left the scene of our non-crime in the direction of Forest Hills Station. Concannon And Sennet was a bar beneath the elevated tracks. Beers cost twenty-fire cents and nothing quenched the taste of fire like a beer for a teenager.

To watch Hendrix’s HOUSE BURNING DOWN, please go to the following URL

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