It Happened on Friday Night

Glen Anderson

It is the summer of 1998 and Glenston Page Anderson and his girlfriend attend a mountain campsite for the annual high school senior party.

Nearly a hundred happy partiers arrive to celebrate the end of the school year. All the high schoolers are underaged and unsupervised and many had helped themselves to a great amount of beer. Glenn is one of a few African American students at the party.

Shortly after Glenn’s arrival, a small group of drunken seniors start an ugly scene. They start pushing and harassing a younger and smaller peer, who attended the party with Glenn. Glenn sees what’s happening and steps in to deescalate the situation and protect his friend. This was Glenn’s way to protect others.

Suddenly, without negotiation, the bullies quickly turn their focus towards Glenn, making him their primary target as he leaned against a truck.

Two bullies pin Glenn’s shoulders against the vehicle, ensuring that he cannot defend himself, while the third one smashes a heavy glass beer mug on Glenn’s forehead. Groups of teenagers gather around while a few shout racial epithets. Glenn, who is a proud African American, watched as the crowd around him rapidly increased in size.  His friends rush to his aid but are unable to get through the large group of people. Outnumbered three to one, Glenn is left to defend himself.

His friends and girlfriend cannot believe what is happening, but finally get him on his feet. They rush him to the hospital where he receives 27 stitches.

Glen’s wound begins to heal and recover, living a seemingly normal life. His family followed medical protocol, taking him to regular check-ups. Then, three months later, Glenn woke up with an excruciating headache and didn’t want to go to school. He pulled his bedroom blinds down and rested in his room the entire day. Months later on a September morning Glenn woke up, got out of bed, and fell to the floor. He was rushed to Harborview Hospital where he went through eight hours of intensive surgery. Glenn never recovered, remaining in a coma for six agonizing years. The outcome was devastating to his mother, his friends and the many people who gathered at the hospital day in and day out. Hazel, Glenn’s mother, and her family helped care for him in the hospital, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes. Glen was finally brought home in 2000 where he received 24-hour care. He continued to receive the love of his family and friends in a loving environment until he died in 2004.

The King County medical examiner determined that Glenn suffered a subdural hematoma, a hemorrhage of the brain, which caused the coma and his eventual death.