Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Van

Yesterday we had our daughter's car towed away. She had totaled it over a year ago and it had been sitting in the garage since then. She was sad to see it go. We all were. It was a really nice car.

The emotions brought me back to my first car. It was a black, brown and yellow '65 GMC Handivan. It had no power steering nor seat belts and the heater was about as hot as a mouse's breath. The linkage for the stick shift was worn and if you shifted too quickly it could get stuck in gear. Then you'd have to go under the vehicle and give one of the rods a yank to get them moving again. I got quite proficient at it, surprising both my passengers and some onlookers . For the first 2 years of ownership it didn't have a radio. So I sang a bit or rolled down my window at traffic lights to hear other people's music while I waited. As you can see it wasn't much but it was mine.

Then in '77, while driving on the Meadowbrook Parkway with my husband (then boyfriend) a car came off the entrance ramp into the middle lane, right in front of me, going about 15 mph slower than I was. I swerved into the right lane to avoid hitting them but lost control and went up the grassy side of the parkway. There were some planting of trees being done and my left front tire fell into one of the holes. The van flipped, the ass end coming up and over, landing on the front driver's side.

My husband had pulled me down when we started going over. He said it was surreal watching the windshield shatter and disappear then seeing blue then green, blue . . green, blue . . . green as we rolled down the hill three times. Having no seat belts we bounced around like two super balls. We landed upright and the van was now traveling back towards the parkway. Don tried to reach the steering wheel but couldn't because I was unconscious on the floor, blocking him. Someone was watching over us for the van started to turn away from traffic. My husband pulled himself up slightly to see what was going on just in time to witness us hit a lightpole. He lurched forward smashing his nose against the metal dashboard as the light pole came crashing down. The accident had finally ended. (picure is of the injuries poor Baby Van incurred. The right side had very little damage.)

Someone had stopped and helped Don pull me out. He then went and turned off my car. Yes, it was still running after all this. My father drove it home wearing goggles. Can you just imagine that coming down the street behind you? :)

But I don't remember any of this. In fact I don't even remember the car that cut me off or being in the middle lane or half the time I was in the hospital. Believe it or not, we just got very badly beaten and the only thing broken was Don's nose. More than a hour of my life, where I lost my car and we almost lost our lives, is blank. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't know what happened. It's really a strange feeling.

Like my daughter, I was so sad to let my baby go. I had gotten her when I was 18. She was my independence. My freedom at a time when I was vulnerable and growing. She gave her life for me. I still miss her.


  1. What a story! I'm so happy you are alive!

  2. Thanks so am I. When we were bouncing around, Don's seat broke. The metal support scraped the back of his upper thigh. If it was 6 inches higher it would have hit a very vital area and our daughter probably wouldn't be around.

    So many things could have happened but didn't. For that I'm grateful.

  3. From what I remember Sallie, your owner had a couple of exciting tmes similar to mine. She's very lucky too. I'm glad she's around also.

  4. What a scary event! I am SO happy you both survived! Where would we be with out you!

  5. Jenna, I don't know what happened to your other post. But to be quite honest my word count is not so good, to the extent of being nonexistent. I was hoping no one would notice the absence of numbers at the end. Or that Sallie was the only reader and she didn't say anything. Ok I'll get to it! Put away the rubber hose. LOL

    Yeah, where would you be without me. Hmm probably where you are now just not knowing me. But that's for another posting the "It's a Wonder Life". :)