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It is the winter of 1980.
I’m twenty-eight years young,
Driving a red Mustang with glass T-tops,
Feeling all of my awesome sassiness, from toe
To Afro, when I notice the cards driving ahead of me
Are all slowing way down. A wreck? Can’t be because nobody stops.
I’m a young mother of three, in a business suit, on my way to work.
This is irritating; why do these old people drive on the Interstate anyway?
Don’t we have side streets and side cars for them?
Thoroughly annoyed, I flip my car into the fast lane, and show them how to drive.
Five minutes later, my Mustang and I are airborne, flying in the air away from the freeway.
We are at a 90 degree angle to the road, at least twenty feet from it now.
We flip upside down, which means I will most assuredly be killed
when I land upside down on these glass t-tops.
I’ll be leaving my husband to raise 3 children.
The primal urge to save myself kicks in and I instantly yell, “God, help me!”
God smiled, opened up His arms, put a giant palm under my car, and
Flipped us the complete opposite direction in mid-air.
That red Mustang and I landed with a puff sound, in a huge drift of snow which met her
Half way up her windows, and a whirl of smoke like flakes.
I watched an older gentleman in a business suit, classic hat, and fancy black wool coat park his
Car on the emergency lane. This was before cell phones. He began to inch his way down the embankment, toward my car.
I watched the snow creep up to his knees, reaching his waist before he finally reached me.
I lowered my window a bit and he asked, “Are you hurt?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Can you walk?”
I laugh, “I’m not sure I can get out of this drift,” I tell him.
He asks for my long-handled snow scraper, and gets me out in about six minutes.
I grabbed my purse, and we both retraced his steps back to his car.
He cranked up the heat, and asked me where I wanted to go.
To work, of course.
I feel humiliated, embarrassed, ashamed of what I had been thinking about him earlier, and humble.
I cannot even look at this wet man, this good Samaritan who has treated me with such kindness.
“What happened out there?” He asks me.
I look at him, but he is concentrating heavily on the road, so I lie and say “I don’t know.”
He takes a deep breath and says, “I used to work in a pit crew at the Indy 500, I did that for seven years. Your car was flipping. You were supposed to flip! I thought you were a goner. I’ve never seen a car do what yours just did. How did you DO that? A car just doesn’t right itself like that. It can’t happen.”
I yelled, ‘God help me!’ I told him. We drove the rest of the way in silence, until I got out and thanked him, at work.
That night my Mustang was featured on the news. My husband and I watch a tow truck break its chain as it tried to pull my car out of a ninety-two foot ditch. The news anchor said it took two tow truck drivers and two tow trucks to get “this car” out of the ditch. The news anchor adds that when they pulled out the car, they noticed it had landed on a large metal drainage ditch, so wasn’t it lucky that the car had not flipped because it had glass T-tops.
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