Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Restroom rescue no laughing matter

The Camp Fire manual may teach young ladies a lot of things, but escaping from a locked service station restroom is not one of them, as a pair of Camp Fire Girls attending a troop meeting May 11, 1964, in Pilot Rock found out. The girls belonged to the “E-ha-wee” Camp Fire group, which translates to “Laughing Maiden” in an unspecified Native language, but no one was laughing when the girls became trapped in the restroom.

The troop’s leader, Mrs. Jess Carey, was holding the meeting at the service station owned by herself and her husband after being called to fill in at the station at the last minute. The two 9-year-old girls locked the restroom door from the inside but then could not draw the bolt back when they were finished. The enterprising girls wrote a note on a paper towel and slid it under the door, where it was found by another of their troop. It read, “The door is stuck, we can’t get out.”

Mrs. Carey and her son, Darryl, tried a number of different ways to free the girls. First they tried to tell the girls how to move the bolt, but it was stuck fast. They then tried to jar the bolt loose by hitting the door near the bolt. A small hole where another type of lock had once been installed was reopened and lubricant sent through to loosen the bolt, without effect. A small window was tried but it was sealed tight from a number of paintings. A screwdriver was passed through for the pair to try to pry the bolt loose. Nothing worked.
There were thoughts of breaking down the door as a last resort, but finally Mrs. Carey hit upon the idea of breaking the lower window glass and reaching through to slide the bolt herself.

The girls were freed, and joined the meeting only 45 minutes late.

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