It was a pleasantly cool day in early May in Florida--the day held great possibilities-but first I had to mow the grass --I was getting the lawn mower out and could hear the melodic sounds of my brother Ron and my dad having a discussion on whether my brother could drive dads new car to school.
My brother had just gotten his license over the weekend and wanted to give his friends a ride to school--dad in his wisdom said no.
Dads new car was a Ford Falcon Squire Wagon--the one with the fake wood on the sides and a 289 Cu In- V-8. He had just gotten the car and didn't want to sacrifice it right away to the young and often adventuress younger son--I thought to myself--good choice dad.Dads car pool showed up and dad was off to work--and brother Ron was throwing a sales pitch on mom before the car pool was out of sight.Mom as usual buckled under the pressure and off to school went brother Ron and the Ford.---I started the mower and began to cut the front yard.The temperature dropped and it got a bit windy and I thought we were about to get an early morning shower-suddenly a gust hit followed by a loud crashing sound------the new surfboard that dad had bought my brother came spiraling out of the rafters in the carport-and had hit the concrete breaking the surfboard in half---OH brother dad was gonna freak!!---About the same time the lawnmower quit and I went to get fuel and I filled it up spilling quite a bit on the top in the process. When I pulled the cord to start the mower --it caught on fire--I freaked thinking it was gonna burn up and grabbed the closest material to dump on the fire---SAND--which I dumped on the burning running lawnmower engine--yeah I got fire out--and the motor quit running and wouldn't restart-----OH we're just getting started here folks--almost on cue--mom came running out of the house hollering that Ron and his friends were in the emergency room--because they had been in an auto accident---there were no serious injuries---it seems my brother made a U-turn on a curve --and was hit broadside by a car doing 60 m.p.h--it bent the wagon into a U shape--lucky that kids were not killed--It seems my brother had forgotten one of his friends and was turning to go back and get him.
I had to drive 25 miles to pick dad up at work--Dad was relieved as we all were that none of them were seriously hurt--save scratches and sore muscles--then I told him about the surfboard and the lawnmower--
Dad and his ulcer decided to go to the coast and fish for a while on the Titusville Pier---he called and borrowed his cousins Ford wagon for the trip---On the way back from fishing dad met a car coming from the opposite direction--the car was flashing his lights off and on--dad slowed and then saw why the light flashing was happening---a huge cow was charging head on with dad in his lane---they hit instantly--the cow died and the wagon was destroyed and dad narrowly escaped injury as the cow nearly came through the windshield.
This all happened on what we now call Black Thursday in the family.
The final toll
2 slight injuries
2 totaled cars
a totaled surfboard
a ruined lawnmower
an agitated ulcer
and I think a new insurance company
and yet another remembrance from the 1960's
Eric the Codger