This is a picture of the first house I broke into. It used to belong to John Rockefeller before it was repurposed as a community center in the town I was visiting for the summer. Rumor had it, John built an underground tunnel from the house to the hotel across the street. Apparently he did this so that he wouldn’t have to deal with people begging him for money every time he wanted to visit the hotel bar.

I became obsessed with this rumor.

I read everything I could find about Rockefeller and his house, but couldn’t find one shred of evidence about the tunnel. I was determined to get an answer. So I went to the library and stole some blueprints of the original structure. Then I lied my way into the house, followed the blueprints to a secret basement staircase door (hidden – no joke – behind a china cabinet) and discovered the entrance to the old tunnel.

I was 12 years old. It remains one of my happiest memories.