Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Near Death Experience #2

Me (standing far right) and my brothers John and Isaac - 1947

Continuing with my near death experiences (and ignoring the Republican Convention in Tampa, FL), my second brush with the Grim Reaper happened when I was eight years old.

Almost every Sunday my  father would load me and my two younger brothers in the back seat of his Packard and visit "Ed and Mabel" (my aunt and uncle and my father's brother and his wife) for a home cooked Sunday dinner.  Our family lived in a second floor apartment building in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  My Uncle Ed and Aunt Mabel lived in the country with their five children.  My brothers and I always looked forward to these weekly Sunday visits not only for Aunt Mabel's fried chicken and homemade southern biscuits but for a chance to run free and wild in the country.

Typical Sunday gathering of Tipton Family at "Ed and Mabel's) (I am fourth from right, front row, folded arms) - 1951
One Sunday in 1949, after a day of playing in the country topped off by one of Aunt Mabel's southern cooked fried chicken and biscuits meal (when I was seven years old), my brothers and I got in our seats in the back seat of the family Packard.  My father pulled out of the parking spot across the road from Ed and Mabel's where he always parked his car.  The parking spot was on the curve of the road.  As he pulled out with my Mom in the front seat and us kids in the back seat, another car comes careening around the corner and slams into our Packard, spinning it around 360 degrees!  My brothers and I were flung across the seats (no seat belts back in 1949).  We were shaken up but not injured, probably because we didn't have a chance to brace ourselves and thus suffer broken bones.  I don't remember how much damage was done to my father's Packard but I do know it was extensive.

Me (with my arm on my father's shoulder) and my brothers John and Isaac with the family Packard - 1948

There is a lot I have forgotten about my younger days but I remember being hit by that car as clear as if it had happened yesterday.  The impact was that jarring and the sound.....CRASH!  I wasn't aware of death back then but I knew something almost happened.

Thus, before I was ten years old my second of my nine lives was already used up.


Amanda said...

You are lucky it was a Packard and not some fiber glass modern automobile!

Ron said...


That Packard was like a living room on wheels.


anne marie in philly said...

I second nadege; you would not have a chance in hell in one of today's plastic cars.

Ron said...

Anne Marie,

Getting hit in that Packard was like getting hit in a tank.