Sunday, March 30, 2014

Consequences 2

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Now for the "Rest of the Story".... very Paul Harvey'esque eh?

I told you how an innocent flirtation landed me in a cast. Read about that here.

So I dutifully wore my compression cast for the next 8 weeks. Drama club was doing the play "On Borrowed Time", and I had the lead "Gramps". We took our little play to Regional Forensic competition and while we didn't win "Best Play" I did take home the "Best Actor" award.

So the night we were to open for a paying audience was also the day I was to finally get my cast off. We stayed after school for a final run through, and I offered one of my castmates, Stacey Penrod a ride home before heading to my Doctor for final x-rays.

It was a dreary, rainy and gray November day.

I was still driving my first car, a 1973 Pontiac Catalina 2-door. You know, one of those cars that seemed like a "Starship" compared to today's "shuttle craft".

My Doctors office was in Rochester on Walton Blvd., not far from Crittenton Hospital.

As I came up on Old Perch Rd. I saw a school bus facing me in the left turn lane. A '60s era all steel built like a tank school bus...

As I was, oh twenty-five yards from the intersection the light turned yellow...and the bus turned in front of me.

Traveling 55mph I never even had a chance to hit the brakes before the collision.

In slow motion I watched my car come apart around me. My hands at ten and two, I watched the top of the steering wheel break forward and my hands go into the instrument panel. That mile long hood came back up over the windshield. The motor/trans broke free of their mounts and pushed through the transmission "hump" and into the passenger compartment, luckily on the passenger side. At this point my body pivoted upwards, fulcruming at my arms and the top of my head went through the windshield and into the hood.
My chest struck the steering column, before I was jerked back into my seat by the seatbelt. For you youngsters, this was before shoulder belts were permanently attached, they were folded up in a clip above the window and you had to manually unfold them and attach them separately before putting the seatbelt on.
And nobody ever did!!!

The world came back to normal speed as my ass landed back in the seat!!! Through steam and smoke and the smell of gasoline I maintained enough sense to shut the cars ignition off before before there was a fire.

I tried to get out the door, it would only open about an inch. I laid across the seat, got both feet up and several kicks later I was able to just squeeze out the door.

As I stumbled up to the bus, the driver was in near hysterics! The bus was empty except for her, she was running late on her route to pick up her elementary students, which is why she jumped the light. She was on the radio with dispatch getting police sent. As I knocked on the door I heard her saying:
"I think I just killed somebody..."
She was quite shocked when she opened the doors and I asked HER "Are you alright?"
"Oh MY GOD! I thought you were dead...I've got police on the way."

After making sure she was OK, I went back to my car to get my registration and proof of insurance from the glovebox. As I laid across the seat to reach, I must have passed out...the next thing I remember a cop was pulling me out of the car by my feet. (remember folks, this was 34 years ago)

I was talking and lucid so he canceled the ambulance and took the accident report, issuing neither of us a ticket, though she clearly failed to yield to oncoming traffic. She said she didn't see my shiny black car against the shiny black pavement...

Because I was bleeding here and there, from my head and cast was MIA having disintegrated in the accident.

So he drove me to the Emergency room at Crittenton to be looked at, and called my mom at work to come get me. Leaving me to wait my turn, he left.

I had had plans to go to church with a young lady named Theresa Blust that I was interested in, and had to call her to say I would not be making it. I was on the payphone with her when my mother blew into the waiting room like a hurricane. Wanting to know what the hell was going on, why were the police calling her from work to come get me??? When I explained she started to shake, evidently she had passed the accident on the way there. Didn't even recognize my car, and had thought whoever had been in that car must have died.

The Doctors gave me a full round of x-rays, head, chest, arms and hands. A cursory neurological exam and sent me on my way seeing no immediate signs of a concussion in spite of my temporary loss of consciousness. I did not re-injure my arm and despite a couple stitches appeared fine.

I went on that night with the play, despite a blinding headache...which I figured was "normal" given the circumstances...the show must go on after all!

Little did I know, this would become my "normal" for the next nine months and would change the trajectory of my life...

Ok, that's not the rest of the story, but an important part...Coming in "Consequences 3" I hope to finish the chain.

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. Boy that bus driver would've been in a world of hurt today. Instant sobriety test, urine test, license yanked....And you were lucky you weren't killed. Thank god for those old, heavy American cars. I used to have a 1976 Monte Carlo. It was like a tank. I can't believe you were able to go on with the play! You remembered your lines too?

    1. At that point we'd been at it for a couple of months, and taken it to regionals...I could have recited those lines in my sleep! Lol
      I don't think she even lost a days work...

  2. HOLY CRAP!!! Well, first, I didn't know you won an award. I didn't even know drama club had competitions. SECOND, wth???? I don't remember any of this from school. Never even remember hearing about it. I'm so, so, so, so happy you were able to walk away, however banged up. Clearly you have a guardian angel watching over you!

    1. MiMi, I actually won several awards Forensics. For Best actor, Dramatic reading, and we won Regional's and went to State competition for Dramatic Duo(your pal Scott Jones and I) for "Inherit the Wind".
      Don't feel bad for not knowing about the accident, it happened on a Friday afternoon after school and I didn't advertise it. Had it happened during the middle of the week I'm sure it would have been all over...