Death of the Red Hornet

When someone says “Have you ever been in a car crash?”, immediately I have 2 memories that come to mind.  The first involves Grandma Is and the brown Mercury Comet. 


I don’t remember how old I was, but Grandma Is and I were running errands that involved going to the post office.  She pulled into the angled parking spot, turned the car off, and went inside.  I stayed in the car.  Have you ever had one of those moments where you just knew something was going to happen even before it actually did?  Well – I had one of those moments and I just knew that we were going to be hit.  Sure enough, not more than 3 minutes went by and BAM someone ran right into the back end of Grandma Is’s car.  I wasn’t hurt and I don’t remember if there was much damage to the car, but a gentleman had been coming into the parking lot and in order to avoid someone else coming in behind him too fast, he ended up turning right into our car.


It was a beautiful January afternoon.  The air was crisp and the sun was shining.  It was time to head back to Eau Claire after our winter break. Mary and I had the radio playing full blast and even though it was winter, we had the windows partially open.  We had made it about two-thirds of the trip and were about 5 miles outside of Black River Falls when I was getting sleepy.  I woke up when I was on the left shoulder of the Interstate, over-compensated, and went off into the right ditch, crossing 2 lanes of traffic.  I took out a deer crossing sign, put a hole in the catalytic converter, a hole in the radiator, and a hole in the gas tank, and blew all the windows out of the car.  We actually ended up with glass in our jeans pockets!

We were so shocked by what had just happened.  A few people stopped to see if we needed assistance and a nice guy even used some duct tape to mend a few of the holes.  We were able to drive the car 5 more miles until the exit and then we pulled off the Interstate.  Someone must have called the police about the accident because we were met at the exit by an officer. He inquired if we were trying to flee the scene.  We told him that we were just trying to get to a phone to call my mom and dad.  It must’ve been very apparent how clueless we were as we didn’t get a ticket for leaving the scene of the accident.

I called mom and I don’t recall exactly what was said except for the part where I said “Aren’t you even concerned if I’m ok?” and she replied, “Well, you are talking to me right now, aren’t you?”  She will argue with me about this, but I know I’m right.

That was the end of my red hornet.  The next car I got was a 1972 Datsun 240Z.  Dad cracked that one up!

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