A month before Madeline and I married in 1971, I had a 1968 Ford Galaxy 500 that I rear ended a Williamson Country Road Maintenance Pickup in Liberty Hill, completely demolishing the front end.
It took a couple of months to get it the repairs done. I finally got it out of the body shop on a Friday afternoon, just before leaving on Saturday morning for the Jordan Christmas Party in Houston.
The Jordan Family Christmas Party was the highlight every year for Madeline’s whole family, when they got to see all their cousins, aunts and uncles on her dads side of the family. They seldom saw any of those family members except at the big party held every year a couple of weekends before Christmas.
Being my first time to go, I had made every excuse imaginable about why I didn’t need to go. I didn’t know any of those people. Besides I’d worked hard all week and needed to rest. She wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I finally gave in and we loaded the car and headed from Marble Falls to Houston.
Just as we got on the Pedenales River Bridge the hood flew up, shattering the windshield and destroying the hood. The body shop hadn’t adjusted it properly.
Luckily I got to the other side of the bridge and pulled over. Seeing how badly damaged the car was we decided against continuing on to Houston. We tied the hood down well enough to get back to Marble Falls.
Madeline to this day thinks I somehow sabotaged that trip. Like I told her, if I was going to do that I wouldn’t have picked a narrow bridge and driving 70 mph for it happen.
The next year we made it to the Jordan Christmas Party and I went every year thereafter that I could possibly make it to as long as they continued to have them. After meeting all those people I looked forward to it each year as much as anyone did.
Sadly as all the older generation passed on, the gatherings died off as well.