Friday, February 18, 2011

Flashback Friday # 24 ~ Jim's bad early car experiences

Did you and/or your family ever involved in any car accidents when you were growing up?

That was the big question Linda poised for us this week (to see others or if you want to join in with fun of writing up your experiences, please click on the icon to the right).
My answers sort of fit the question, so here goes:
Thinking primarily of your growing-up years and your early years of driving, have you ever been in an auto accident? Were you a passenger or the driver? Were you injured? How badly was the car damaged? Whose fault was it?

The Mom and Dad part of this question was that no, they never had wrecks when I was young. My mom did run through a herd ?? of ducks when she was learning to drive. It was a Model T Ford and she panicked and could not remember how to work the foot brake.

Dad tipped the pickup over on an icy road (Eastern Nebraska). He had an eight gallon milk container and Duke, our dog, with him. Fortunately no one was hurt. That happened after I left home.

Also happening when I left home was when Mom couldn't stop going through an icy intersection and slid right into a car coming sliding through the cross road. She was a little bruised and unlike Dad's pickup, the car needed repair.

My accidents started when I at age fourteen was driving home from high school. An afternoon drunk driver came across into my lane. There was an 18 inch continuous pile of gravel stretching along my side of the road so I could not take the ditch.

I was worried about catching the Dickens from Dad as I had taken the scenic way home. But all he said was that for sure I couldn't help myself with the pile of gravel.

My school permit only allowed me to drive to and from school. But one noontime a couple of fellows and I went for a drive down main street. Another student backed out of a slant parking place and hit me. I can't remember what all Dad had to say about that but again since that one was not my fault things must have smoothed over quickly because now I don't remember any bad consequences.

My last high school accident was of a different nature. My usual run was to drop off my cousin, Ione, at the school and then go back into town to pick up my friend whose name I cannot remember. At times we then picked up another buddy but not this time.

As we were leaving I decided to have a before school smoke. There must have been some trouble getting it lit because while working with this I drove into a pile of dirt behind a barricade. A lot of the dirt and barricade the went back into the hole but I could back out and drive away with no damage to the pickup, which I did.

A couple of hours after school had started there was a call for me to come down to the office. When I arrived there I was met by the town marshall. It didn't take long for me to confess about the incident though I didn't tell about lighting the cigarette. I don't think Dad ever heard about that one.

My next accident was in college dropout time with my hopped up 1952 Ford. The streets of Lincoln, Nebraska, were covered up slush piled about six inches deep all over the street. There was on each side a center lane of mashed down wet stuff partially covering the two lanes. Another fellow wanted to stay in the single lane. When it veered to the inside I passed him on the regular outside lane which was still full of slush. The other driver next veered back where I was and caused an accident.

During my adult life there have been a few mishaps. A lady ran a stop sign in front of me and my motorscooter. I landed on her hood with bunged up knees. Another time a saltwater truck beside me made a left turn into me. It was not on an intersection but he wanted to go out into an oil field. That totaled our car. I also rear ended a couple of cars as an adult.

What was the attitude of your parents toward "fender benders" and tickets? Were minor dings and scrapes a big deal? Have you ever received a traffic ticket? If more than one, 'fess up: how many? Any warnings?

Even though my parents seemed to not have nearly as many mishaps as I did they did not seem overly concerned about mine. And yes when I was younger I got three tickets. Since then no tickets but there were a few warnings. Most of these were for speeding.

Has a family member or close friend been seriously injured or killed in an accident? Have you ever witnessed a bad accident and stopped to render aid or give a statement? What role, if any, did seat belts and car seats have in your early years?

Only one of my friends died a death connected to cars. Albert worked in a Texaco station in Lincoln, Nebraska. A customer lit a cigarette and the whole station instantly went up in flames. Albert was burned to death as well as others.

I have only been in an upside down car once. One day Albert took me out for a ride in his 'clunker,' (well now it would be a classic but it really was a clunker back then) a 1939 Ford Coupe.

We were going round and round on two wheels in a dried up salt link in Lincoln, Nebraska. The car went off balance and tipped over, very slowly, onto its side. We just pushed it up right and drove home.

A good friend, Bill of Lincoln, and I went into racing and had a modified stock car. Ours was a 1934 Ford coupe painted baby blue with the numbers 88 painted on the side. Bill's parents were both killed while driving their new DeSoto.

One of the racing drivers who pitted next to our car died when a fan blade broke loose and went into his head. He died there at the track. Since then I will never ever put my head near the engine compartment where a cooling fan injury could happen to me when someone is revving up the engine.

Experiencing the comfortable safe feeling being buckled in the stock car convinced me that my personal cars should all have safety belts. Hardly anyone had seat belts back then.

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Oh this is an interesting question. Made me think of all the accidents I've had and one really bad one my parents had when I was a kid. They all survived, but life was never the same for my dad. Awful.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)
Wow. You shared some amazing and scary experiences. Thanks for participating.

BTW, the link led to your poem blog, and I had to search for this one. Would you mind relinking?
You've certainly had your share of auto-related incidents :) That's terrible about your friend, Albert!

BTW, you might not want to take the buses in Argentina. Trains aren't so bad but bus drivers are CRAZY! At least the inner-city ones are. I think the long-haul drivers are safer.
When I was a teenager, I almost lost my license due to speeding tickets. I've slowed down a lot since then!
I wanted to be a Demolition driver...or be just like Shirley Mudowney. I loved speed as a child. My first car was a muscle car...383 with Crager mags and knockoff spinners. I worked very hard never to get a ticket...even though I did street race it a time or two.
scary stock car story...
Thanks for sharing your memories and commenting on mine. I bet you were a mess back in the day! I am glad my heavy foot has eased up and I drive the speed limit now or below. That is some scary stuff about the fan. Hope you and Mrs Jim have a good week!
until next time... nel
Let's just say, I had my share of them. And none were my fault either. Seriously.
Reading your post has clarified for me why I had so few driving accidents. Some one else was having my share. I owe them thanks and prayer!
Wow...yours were pretty interesting too. As to your question on my comments...yes nose broken twice (actually three times if you count the time I tried to break up two boys from fighting in the hall at school)..and no...neither of them were my fault.
Hi Jim ~~ Thank you so much for your good wishes and prayers for my
procedure on Thurs 3rd March. I should be OK and may get home later that day or at least the next.
I should think that they would put sniffer dogs on planes BEFORE they take off. The earthquake was in New Zealand and news is less here too
although the first victim was buried today a 5 month old baby.
Take great care Jim, Regards, Merle.

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