The Crash (this was originally written Nov. 6, 2016)

Traveling through Liberty Hill on our way home from our anniversary brunch I am reminded of a story that happened just a couple of weeks before we married in November of “71”.

I was working in Burnet and Madeline was living in South Austin with Dixie Lewis and another gal. On Wednesday nights I’d drive to Austin to court her, spend the night and head out early the next morning so as to arrive in Burnet by 7:00 AM.

Now when I say I would go court her, it was actually more like picking Madeline and Dixie up and heading to El Matamoros (everyone call it El Matt’s). Poor quite Madeline probably always wondered what she had gotten herself into with Dixie and Me acting out. I think the other gal had a night job because I don’t remember her going with us. After we would stuff on Mexican food, we head straight to a Diary Queen on South Lamar close to where they lived. We’d each get a large parfait and eat it. I guess I preferred to hang out with full figured gals, because I sure was trying to fatten them out.

One morning just a few weeks before we were going to get married I was driving to Burnet but when I got to the intersection of FM 1869 and Highway 29 in Liberty Hill, at a little after 6:00 AM, I was taking a nap while running about 70 MPH. I must have been no more than a couple of car lengths from rear ending a Williamson Road Department Heavy Duty Pickup when I woke up. He was stopped waiting to turn left toward the county barns.

Madeline and me a short time before the wreck.

The crash left my “68” Ford Galaxy automobile with a severely messed up front end. The county truck had a big heavy pipe rear bumper that pretty well left it with minimal damage. I think the impact knocked about a dump truck load of dirt and mud out from under that old pickup.

I got a wrecker to haul it over to Becker & Philpott’s in Marble Falls for repairs.

The wedding took place a couple weeks later and my new father in law loaned us his car for us to go San Antonio on our one night honeymoon.

It took awhile for them to get it all straightened out and roadworthy again. A couple of weeks before Christmas they finally had it ready to roll. Just in time to go to Houston to Madeline’s Jordan Family Christmas Party. She wanted to go so bad, I guess to show off the prize husband she’d just cabbaged on to. No way I could say no, even though I’d tried to think of ever excuse possible. We loaded up the presents and headed off to Houston on that Saturday morning.

We were clicking along about 80 MPH as we crossed the Pedernales Bridge on Highway 71 at Paleface. We met a big truck and the wind velocity off that truck blew the hood up and back over the roof of the car. I guess they didn’t have it adjusted just right. Any way things got pretty exciting for a few seconds until I could got across the bridge to the little pull off area. Not an easy thing to do when you can’t see.

I called George Becker and he tore out down there in that old red and white Chevrolet Wrecker to tow it back to the shop.

That whole ordeal pretty well messed up our trip to the Jordan Christmas party for that year. Starting the next year we went every year and I think I looked more forward to it than Madeline did.

The funny thing was, Madeline pretty well convinced herself that I’d caused the hood to fly up on purpose. She even mentioned that today when we were reminiscing about that whole ordeal.

I’ll tell you if I had of planned that, it wouldn’t have been for it to come open on that bridge at that speed. But I’m not sure I’ll ever make a believer out of my wife.

One fact I would like to throw out about this episode. That was the last time I had an “at fault wreck” in a vehicle. I guess marriage straighten my driving out.

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