As it turns out, I guess I jinxed myself.
Several weeks ago I wrote about how our son Joe, who is a senior in high school over in Florence, Ala., has had his own car for more than a year. He has had neither an accident nor a traffic ticket—something many parents think is going to happen sometime during that first year.
My wife told me I shouldn’t write the column. Jenny’s a bit superstitious and she was afraid I would jinx Joe.
Well Joe is doing fine, but I was involved in a traffic accident. No, I wasn’t speeding around in The Rocket, my gray Acura, or anything like that.
I was on my way to Barefield Solutions to pick up some office supplies, but was stopped in a line of traffic on West Bankhead Street.
Suddenly, the white Nissan Maxima that was stopped behind me was shoved into my back bumper.
The driver in the SUV behind him had failed to see the traffic stop and plowed into his car at a pretty good clip. Fortunately, the young man in the Nissan wasn’t hurt, but his car suffered a lot of damage.
I got an estimate on repair of The Rocket. It needs a new back bumper and a couple of other things. The folks down the street at Maxey Brothers Body Shop are taking care of it. It’s the second time the back bumper has been replaced.
Two years ago, while we were driving in Kentucky, an 18-wheeler changing lanes clipped the rear bumper of our car going 55 miles an hour. Our car shimmied, but stayed on the highway.
After we got stopped, the truck driver said we were fortunate he was moving over slowly or we probably would have been spun around and hit by the truck.
He explained that trucks have a blind spot on the passenger side of the cab. Some have glass in the lower passenger door of the cab to help with visibility, but not the one he was driving.
We chatted while waiting for the state police, and by the time they arrived, my nerves had settled down.
It was a far different experience than the only other accident I ever had. That day I was driving home from work on the freeway in Kansas City and was following a small truck overloaded with tractor tires.
Suddenly, one rolled off and landed in front of my car. My Chevelle, the first new car I ever owned, was totaled as it hit the tire and then was thrown into the median railing. It was late on Saturday night, the freeway was deserted, and the truck driver didn’t know or didn’t stop. Fortunately, I was wearing my seal belt and wasn’t hurt.
Accidents make me stop and think about how little focus we really put on driving. It’s so much a second-nature activity, but the line between life and death or serious injury is a thin one. And it’s always there.
Fortunately, in 47 years of driving I’ve never been involved in an accident that was my fault.
I hope I didn’t just jinx myself again.
Tomato update: A couple of you have asked how our tomato plant that is growing out of the crack in the driveway curb is doing. Well, it’s amazing.
It’s turning out 15 to 20 grape tomatoes a week. And the metal tomato cage Jenny set over it has kept the mail carrier from mowing it down. Sorry there aren’t enough to share.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.