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's Story

I was a junior in Business school from Asker Norway with a athletic ski and soccer scholarship.

I was not political active, but was aware of what was going on in Vietnam and also the killing of the students at Kent state.

At the time, I lived in Asbury Avn. close to the campus.

At 4.30 in the mornig I woke up by the National Guard marching by our window. I got out of bed and told my wife that I wanted to take a closer look.

May be imagination, but I am sure I saw some tanks.

I guess I was a little naive, but I was in the middle of the action, watching the developement at the campus.

After a couple of hours of very interesting happenings, the police informed over loudspeakers that the area was under curfue, meaning that only Du students were aloud on campus. That was no problem for me, I was a full time student. However, the police asked for student idecard. Of cource my card was at home. The result was that I was brutaly arrested, photographed with numberplate in front and fingerprints were taken. Then I was placed in a police bus. The police was absolutly not interested in listening to what I had to say.

I was able to send a message to some friends outside so that they could get a hold of my idecard at home. My wife was there after a few minutes with my identification. However, the police would not listen, and the fact that my papers were there was of no use in the situation. I was aressted and stuck in the bus about to leave for Denver Police station down town. I was sitting up front very quiet listening to a full bus yelling "pigs" to the police. To the story is that on the seat beside me was sitting the "mailman" with his bag full of undelivered mail. He had of cource no DU identification. The two of us did really not belong to this group of demonstrators!

I started to be a bit worried. Being a guest in this country on a scolarship and a very privileged person, it was not very good for me to be taken demonstrating against the President.

Saved by the DU Security.

I do not remember the name of the Chief of DuSsecurity at the time, but right before the bus was to leave, he checked out the "mob" being bussed away. He was very interested in DU sports and luckely, he recogniced me. He told the police that I did not belong in there. He had the power to get me released.

By now it was 10 o´clock in the morning. I figured I needed a lawyer. Law professor Jimmy Johnstone, a good friend of DU skiteam, was in his office. Serious case, he told me. He made some phone calls in order to get me out of the  police records. He fixed it, a few days later I was down town watching with my own eyes that they tore up the papers including the photo. I wanted it as a souvenier, but they did not let me have it.

It belongs to the story that I was contacted by several lawyers that offered to take my case.

What happend to the "mailman" , I do not know, but I hope he kept his job!

It was a happy ending for me at DU. I got my degree in 72, skied in the 76 Olympics and was inducted into DU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

I am very greatful to the University of Denver for giving me a n excellent start of my career.

Thank you for you attention.

Odd Hammernes

 

Comments

Outside Agitators?
Mon, 07/04/2011 - 11:54am - by ccuwan

Your story and others before it make me realize how much trouble I could have been in. As I said in my own story, I was a naïve Canadian citizen who simply happened on to this event. In being so, and not a DU student at the time, if arrested, I would have been branded an agitator. Not a healthy label to carry in those times. I think I can safely say that the vast majority of those involved were DU students but it appears that the school and the authorities, as is always the case, were looking for outsiders to lay the blame on. As a society, we have great difficulty finding fault with our own when the option exists to look outside. DU did not need outside agitation to build and maintain Woodstock West. Woodstock West was built on the deeply seated emotions and beliefs of America's youth.

Odd, Your story has many
Thu, 06/30/2011 - 4:30pm - by Sheila Schroeder

Odd,

Your story has many twists and turns. It seems you were "saved" by Wayne Littrell, Director of DU security during Woodstock West. He is an avid DU sports fan who is now 92 and living near the campus. And another hero in your story, Jimmy Johnstone really came to your rescue as well.

As for the "mailman," there were stories in The Denver Post about his plight. I can't quite figure out why they arrested him. Perhaps they thought he was undercover?!

And the tanks...others have reported seeing tanks too, but to date none of the film or photographic archival evidence supports this theory. It's an interesting phenomenon that many people have said that tanks were part of the National Guard force, but it seems that's simply part of the memories of many but the reality does not support the memory.

Peace,

Sheila