This was a comment to a post by Ocularnervosa on about proms and keggers. I thought in retrospect it was a good blog on its own.
Small towns in central Nevada of the late 60s to early 70s had the same type of parties. Seems to be a fairly universal happening. At the end of my freshman year I had the opportunity to attend the Senior classes' Graduation BeerBash. The big difference between your partys and the one I attended was the Cops knew all about it.
Here's the story. In order not to raise interest and attention with the local constabulary, all beer was purchased out of town. In fact it was bought in California. Yes they were bootlegging the beer, bringing it across state lines. Well the police in California contacted our hometown cops and let them know of the incoming shipment. Now this was a pick-up bed full of cases of beer. It was also the only purchase made, seems someone thought it would be easier to do one beer run than to do multiple trips. So it hits town, and the first thing these genuses do was stop at the local Dairy Sleeze for a shake instead of stashing it away. While hanging out with their drinks, up pulls the Chief of Police. With him are several other officers and the "paddy" wagon
"Now what have we here" he asked as the tarp covering the brew was drawn away. Caught red handed there is not much to be said,or objected to as the pick-up was unloaded, all that beer going into the back of ol' paddy. Now the fingers are being pointed, and the horrible truth sinks in. All funds, donated by all potential party attendants, has just been lost. "Damn cops are gonna drink all our beer" was the last thing heard
Now this occured 1 week before the party date. There was now a frantic effort to replace the lost suds. By Party Night only a small amount had been "donated", not even enough for a good buzz to be had by all. Yet the party was on. Just like your (ocularnervosa's) with the huge bonfire( thats another story). The party site was 6 miles from town out past the town dump. The party site was in a hollow so as not to be seen.
So imagine the scene. out in the desert, very little beer, music, girls, and much testostrone. Now add,,, Approaching Revolving Red lights and Sirenes and Bull Horns and Escape Cut Off and, well you get the picture. Busted! Not quite! Down drives the Chief with half a dozen cops with the paddy. And then instead of filling it with underage party goers, they Empty out all the confiscated beer!!! Then they unloaded sandwiches, chips, and coffee makings. Then the Chief tells all to have a good party, keep it there, keep it clean, sober up before you leave this site. And that there would be someone just over the hill if there was a need for any type of help.Now the next day, close to noon ,came a parade of cars back from the party. They made their way to their homes and that was that.
As for my part in all this. I had a front seat to the "bust" at the Dairy Sleeze, as I was there for a burger when it took place. I rode my motorcycle out to the party after it started, but but before the Chief arrived. I witnessed it all, at least for an hour or so, then I hopped my bike and headed home. I was stopped by a cop to make sure I was not drunk. Fact is I didn.t drink back then, I just wanted to go to the bash. And yes I had donated to the beer fund earlier.
One last note. The Powers to Be did what they did for only one reason. In the previous three years there were several Graduating students killed in auto accidents that resulted from this type of party. When your graduation class is only 15 to 24 kids, any drinking and driving death was too great a price. And as we know , there will be these parties, they can not be stopped. And as far as I know any other "sponsered "event such as this never happened again. But I'm not sure since our family moved out of state several weeks after school ended.