November 26, 1957
a year ago we had an automobile accident.
happened on a Saturday, because I remember I woke up earlier than
usual. Mother would have gone to Marysville for parts without
me, but I woke up in time to go with her.
the way back, there is a 90° turn just out of Richwood.
This year, there was a cornfield on the inner side of the curve.
This cornfield blocked vision around the curve.
just as we got to the curve a stake truck appeared, coming the other
direction. It seems whenever a car or truck comes around a
curve, they always move to the center. Therefore, we collided
truck glanced off, turned around, and went on its side. The
door on my side flew open, but I didn't fall out.
we had hit just slightly different, the wreck could have been much
worse. But we were only slightly injured, the truck driver not
I wrote this essay for my fifth-grade English class. It's the
earliest non-childish composition of mine that I've discovered in the archives.
before the accident, in April 1956, I snapped this picture of the car
that would later be involved. That's my Kentucky cousin Freddy
Thomas standing beside the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air sport sedan.
I colorized the picture in October 2006.
I made the drawing
below in 2003.
The collision, in which the left front wheel of the truck smashed
into our car's left front fender, took place a couple of miles south
of Richwood on Ohio Route 37, probably in October 1956.
The tall corn,
awaiting the harvest, had hidden our car and the truck from each
other as we approached the banked curve at 50 miles per hour.
If the two drivers had been aware of the oncoming traffic, both would
have been more careful to stay on their respective sides of the centerline.
if cars had been equipped with seatbelts back then, we wouldn't have
sustained a scratch. As it was, my only injury was a knee
laceration. We were lucky.
several summers afterward, we noticed that the field on the inside
of the corner was no longer a cornfield. Instead, the farmer
planted lower-lying crops like alfalfa or soybeans.
There had been
accidents in this area before, of course. The Richwood Gazette
of March 1, 1917, reported a rather unusual one which
took place the previous Monday, February 26.
Dr. L.L. Roebuck
was driving south from Richwood on what was then a narrow country road.
Near Claibourne cemetery, he caught up with a large wagon
loaded with hay. He was unable to make the driver hear his
signals, and not wishing to be delayed, attempted to pass the wagon
at the side of the road. Just as he was going around the wagon,
he noticed that the load was about to topple over upon his machine.
In trying to avoid the falling hay, he steered the car into a
telephone pole, the impact breaking off the pole and causing it to
fall on the automobile.
LOOK OUT, THE
SKY IS FALLING!
NO, THE HAY
NO, THE POLE
A A U G H !
According to the Gazette,
the doctor was not hurt but his vehicle was badly dented.
The driving mechanism of the automobile was not damaged and was
driven on to Columbus, where Dr. Roebuck hoped to have it repaired
without unnecessary delay. While in Columbus, he decided to
trade the damaged machine for a new one, and the new car was driven
to Richwood Monday night.