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Saturday, April 21, 2018

A LIMP BACK TO THE PAST

It was the first beautiful weather-day of the year in mid-April. No coats or sweaters or winter gear of any kind adorned either my classmates or me.

Attending my life drawing class that fate-filled day on a Friday afternoon, April 14, 1967, it was the last class and plans for the weekend would begin after class. Our instructor decided to have the class outdoors to take advantage of the weather and the afternoon sun was enough to warm the model. Spread out on the lawn of the Chateau that served as the art department, we had out our pads and charcoals ready to draw with.

Leisurely we walked from the lawn to the parking lot to go to my apartment in Hicksville to begin the weekend, I had hitched as rid from one of my classmates and we headed home. As we turned onto Old Country Road in Hicksville the traffic was heavy. The Friday night homeward traffic on a promising weekend made the trip home slow and inevitably long. Light after light we stopped and started again. Finally, we were in front at a steakhouse, the sun behind us. Suddenly the traffic light turned green once again and as we picked up steam a red pickup truck came out from our right and cut in front of us as he ran the light, causing my classmate to swerve to his right to avoid a collision. The reward for his diligence was a collision into a parked car instead!

I remember the swing of the red truck as it headed into the other lane and my going forward as we impacted with the parked car. Leaning back in my seat I thought that I was OK, nothing happened to me. Then I felt a sweat rolling down my forehead and as I wiped it I noticed it was blood.

Suddenly there was this immense pain coming from my right foot as I looked down at it. My foot was grotesquely twisted to the side, a bone sticking out from my sock. Then the realization that the engine was sitting between the driver and me! The windshield was smashed and people were coming over now to see what could be done. Soon a man opened the door, dressed in a business suit and leaned over me, using his handkerchief to wipe my forehead with the blood still rolling down my face. Right before I passed out, the ambulance was sounding its arrival.

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