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Anthony Alvarez

© 2011 Anthony Alvarez

Inquiry sent in via email March 27, 2011

...I will finish the story on the site if you give me a chance to tell it in depth. We did not vandalize the Grove, nor damage it in any way. I am now 62 years old and have had this on my mind for many, many years now and it's time to get it off my chest. It is a haunting story and know it will be read by many. I can give you the names of people that were there that day if you need collaboration to the story. I swear on my mothers grave that what I am about to relate in the story is 100% accurate and true.

Story sent in via email April 1, 2011 - Not supposed to be an April Fool's joke.

The year was 1991 and July was the hottest it had been in the past few years. One Saturday evening many of the guys were standing outside our usual waterhole the Zero In on the east side of Chicago. There were probably more people standing outside then customers inside. A friend of mine and I were discussing about how hot it was that day and came up with the idea to get the hell out of there, so I asked him what he had in mind replying back, "what would you say if I told you to let's go to Bachelors Grove". He claimed it was far from the southeast side and out in the boonies as he put it. We were ready to take off when a car pulled up, it was my brother and a friend so David told them that the bar was somewhat empty and we were thinking of taking off. My brother said he was only going in for a cold brewski so David yelled out to him to meet us at Wally’s as we drove away.

David and I arrived at Wally’s and it was the same as the bar was. Everyone was outside just standing around. Wally’s brother Joe was standing out there with a few of the guys so we got out of the car and began to shoot the breeze with them all. We asked where Wally was and Joe said he was inside watching TV. My brother decided to show up since there wasn’t anyone around to speak of. Wally and Joes youngest sister and a few female cousins of theirs came out to join the gathering out on the middle of the street. The conversation between David and I was the same keeping up with the them of wanting to go to the Grove. Somehow, the girls got wind of the conversation and one of them said out loud that if we were planning on going to the Grove they would love if we could take them. Plans were made now and we are ready to pull out when along comes Luxie on his Harley so we stopped what we were doing and told him to get into my brothers car. So he did and we were able to take off. The first stop was going to be 71st street, there Dave knew of an all night liquor store. He would run in there and get a case of cold Millers for the evening. We take off directly to I-57 not too far from where we were at the present.

We reach the Grove and David made a move with his car cause he planned to park it pointing out in case we had to make a quick escape. My brother arrived a few minutes after us and did the same with his car. We all got out of our cars and began searching for a place where we could make ourselves comfortable to shoot the breeze and have a few beers as we rattled away passing the hours. David and I stayed behind with the girls, as to keep our eye on them as the guys disbanded going in different ways exploring the grounds. A few minutes later one of the guys comes back to tell us that he had found the perfect spot for all of us to sit down and enjoy the evening. It turned out to be an open grave. We positioned ourselves all around it and took a step down in it and sat around the entire length of it. The other guys kept coming back and forth from their little excursions. Dusty and my brother had gone to the creek that runs on the side of the grove, or behind it, no matter, they had found some wood, yes wood that glowed green in the night. Another friend was amazed at the dates he had seen and read on the tombstones. This went on for nearly 2 hours before we saw a light like from a flashlight coming at us. The man presented himself as a local policeman asking us what we thought we were doing there telling us to leave immediately. We were not to argue with the badge so we trickled out as he told us to.

Later that week the temperature remained the same and it was the same for us seeking a place to cool off for the evening so later on in the week, maybe a few days later we were back at our local hangout and one of Joes cousins, not the same one that had gone with us the first time commented that she wanted to visit the Grove and if we would take her. David discussed it with a few of us asking if we would want to go back. My answer as well as the rest of the guys all shouted yes in approval. So again it would be the similar routine except this time before midnight. Nearly 2 hours after making the decision we were at the Grove again. This time, we could not enter. The surrounding property of Bachelors Grove had a fence completely around it. So one of the guys yells out that he was going to go by the little canal to find an opening. Cars kept passing that evening so David flagged down a passing car and it stopped. David asked him if he knew when the fence had been put up. And when the guy told him that it had been up for quite a while, none of us could believe it. We had been shooting the breeze less then a week earlier inside the Grove.

Anthony Alvarez