The parking garages had the "Full" signs up early on the second day of the Metro strike, while motorists sat in loag, still lines hating their cars and what was happening to them.

The heat seemed to come in quicker than other days and to set in longer than most.

The air pollution went up about as high as the monument and was then forced down by the carbon dioxide left over from the day before.

"It was great," said an optimist. "There were no buses around to bother people."

It was a new angle of the Metro service that commuters hadn't thought about, but something that a man named Michael J. Quill, president of the Transport Workers Union in New York City had used many times to wreck the image of mayors.

They used to call him "Red Mike Quill." His style of fighting was to create a donnybrook of words and wade through it in his deep Irish brogue, as the waved his blackthorn cane, bringing mayors to heel and making a city walk with his "take-it-or-leave-it" bargaining, this Quill the Quintessential Curmudgeon.

Quill told the mayor and people of New York in September that they would be walking to parties on New Year's Eve.

The strikes for the most part would be brief slowdowns to give the commuters a taste of what it was like to hike it.

It was Jan. 1, 1966, when a young mayor named John Lindsay sat behind the desk at City Hall, the first Republican mayor in 20 years.

His campaign slogan had been: "Big cities can be managed," but Quill had other ideas. He closed down transportation - subways and buses - for 12 days.

Manhattan became a parking lot with traffic stopped from the Battery to the Harlem River and sideways from the Hudson to the East River.

Fire trucks couldn't get to fires, ambulances were stalled in traffic, and some people deserted their cars.Companies converted their delivery trucks for transporting people to work.

Lindsay appealed to the people, saying. "Please, if you are not essential to your job, remain at home."

He filled the streets with that request. Who could feel "not-essential" at his job? People got off the couch and went into the city so neighbors wouldn't talk. In Washington yesterday, many people weren't feeling too essential - they took a vacation day instead.

If you used your car while crossing the George Washington Bridge or entering the Holland Tunnel, the police would stop you, open the doors and four people would get in from a long line, and you would all sit quietly as you hoped you weren't with one of New York's "most wanted".

Quill had come from Kilgarven, Ireland, where at the age of 15 he had fired a shot into a British regiment who were coming to the Quill household, the IRA headquarters for South Kerry.

Mike ran to the hills and escaped while many were arrested.

Quill, along with eight of his top men in the union were ordered to jail for contempt on January 4, 1966, saying, about the judge. "May he drop dead in his black robes . . . I'll rot in jail . . . I won't appeal . . . I don't give a damn."

He also had a few things to say about Lindsay when he called him a "pipsqueak" and a "juvenile."

He then collapsed in the warden's office, apparently of a heart attack and was taken to a hospital.

On January 29, 1966, 17 days after the end of the strike Quill died of a heart attack at age 60.

The hospital switchboard was jammed with calls, mostly "nasty or obscene." Such is the fate for a nasty, old infighter whose ghost hovers above Washington today.