A Sudden Stop

Back in the 70s and early 80s, after Kenny returned from his stint in the Army, he came to work with us. Most of the crazier things that ever happened was during that time period. It was customary that he and I would load up every few days and ride the jobs. We often had eight or ten projects going on, all over the Austin area.

One day we met up out on the north end of town and he climbed in with me. I had a new 1980 Buick Riveria. We were driving through a project, The Cliffs Over Lake Austin, which is up off of FM 2222.

The underground utilities were complete and we were into the street building portion of the project. The flex base was being installed. The blade operator had it graded out nice a smooth, so I was making a pretty good clip through the project. All of a sudden I went from 40 mile per hour to zero. A manhole cover was sticking up about 6″ above the surface of the road. I had hit it dead center with the front cross member of that car.

The sudden stop caused the backend of the car to come several feet off the ground, then drop back to the ground, throw us both all over the inside of that car. I had ahold of the steering wheel, so it didn’t toss me around as violently as it did my unrestrained passenger. His head contacted with top of windshield, with only the sun-visor to cushion the blow. I had to buy a new visor.

Other than the sun-visor, the front cross member had a big “U” in it. It being a front wheel drive car, it is a wonder that I didn’t completely wipe out the whole thing. It took it to get the wheel alignment checked out and it was still good. I drive that car for quite awhile and never had one problem out of it.

Now Kenny, that is a different story. He still complains about me messing up his cowboy hat.

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