My friend Sid Bogin, who served in the Army Air Force during World War II from 1943-1945, was undergoing an operation for cancer on his arm at 3 o’clock Friday (April 28) afternoon in the VA Hospital in West L.A.
Suddenly, a guard rushed into the operating room, shouting, “Evacuate!”
But Dr. Eric Williams continued the medical procedure.
The guard bolted in again and ordered, “Get out! There’s a bomb scare.”
Bogin reports the doctor shouted back, “I’m not leaving until this man is properly stitched.”
He was not yet bandaged — and there was no nurse remaining to do so. But they were again ordered to get out of the building, Bogin reports.
Although he was still wearing a hospital gown he was directed out in the parking area where all patients had now been evacuated and assembled — even those in wheelchairs, on gurneys, etc.
At first, Sid could not find his wife, Jackie, who had originally taken him to the hospital. Luckily, Sid’s doctor located her and wrote “on a piece of paper” what care to take, and what bandages to buy, etc.
Sid was still in his robe, roaming the parking lot when found and was told to go to the emergency wing — 100 yards away. The west wing where he had undergone the surgery was now off limits to all.
He said they told him a bomb had reportedly been found in that structure. At the emergency wing, the nurse bandaged his newly-stitched and bloodied arm. The “bomb,” as you guessed by now, was Paramount’s “wired” musical box promoting “Mission Impossible III.”
The gimmick was tied up with the L.A. Times news racks…What could they have been thinking in these post-9/11 days-months-years?
And oh yes, Sid was told to come back to the VA hospital the next day to get his personal belongings. As for the hospital robe he was wearing, they said, “Keep it.”