Stories from an Unconventional Childhood, Week Four

Over at Mommy’s Piggy Tales there’s a cool project going on about family history. There is a challenge to blog for 15 weeks about our growing up years, with a different time period covered each week. Spitfire talked me into joining in because she’s hoping for some wild stories from my childhood.

In the fall of my second grade year, it appeared things were settling down. We were actually still living in the same house and my parents were still going to college. I was attending a school about four blocks down the street from my house. My parents dropped me off in the morning on their way to school. I was accustomed to arriving a bit wind blown from the motorcycle, so imagine my delight when my mom told me we were getting a truck.

My father was still in art school and had really gotten into large-scale paintings. By large-scale, I mean most were 6 foot by 6 foot. As you can well imagine, these paintings were way too big to carry on a motorcycle. My dad was getting tired of having to arrange for a friend to move his paintings every time he had a show or needed to move a painting he had done in his backyard studio. So when he heard of an old pickup someone was selling cheap, he jumped on it.

I loved that old truck. It was a 1949 Ford pickup. It had rounded fenders and a narrow bed. A big stick-shift came up out of the floor and had a large ball on the end. Best of all, I didn’t have to sit on the gas tank of a motorcycle to go everywhere. It was a funky old truck, but I loved it.

One day, we were on the way to my school, something went very wrong. A man running late for work, driving in excess of 45 MPH, sped through my neighborhood. When he reached the intersection two blocks from my house, he ran the stop sign and ran right into us. He caught the front of the truck and curled the cast iron bumper. The crunch of metal and sound of shattering glass broke the early morning quiet.

When the dust settled, my dad had bruised ribs from hitting the steering wheel. My mom had flown forward and her forehead hit the windshield. The safety glass broke into a million little pieces. My mom had tiny little sparkles of glass dust on her hand if she rubbed it across her forehead for years thereafter. As for me, I hit that lovely ball on the stick-shift. In the impact, I flew forward and it caught me right at the base of my breastbone. I had a pretty dark bruise there for weeks. The fellow that hit us? He was injury free and mostly just mad that the wreck was making him even later to work. The policeman on the scene was pretty disgusted with him and told him so.

Unfortunately, the accident totaled our old truck and we were back on the motorcycles until another truck deal came along.

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