1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

One Sunday In Perry
What the Army Taught Me
Not My Mother's Shopping List
Brain Calisthenics
The Pono Nano Diet
Oatmeal Jim-Jams
A Walk in the Park
Escape to California
10  Printer's Devil
11  Pono - The Addict
12  Monkeypodarrhea
13  Love in the Woods
14  It's a Small World
15  Culinary Crutches
16  We Want Sandin
17  Better With Age
18  Parallel Universes
19  Mårten Nilsson Finne
20  Hawaii Is A State
21  Shake-em-up Flashlight
22  The Use of E-mail
23  Normal American Schoolboy
24  Lake Gogebic Early Days




It was a beautiful spring morning in Perry, MI.  I was in that middle period when I was too young to drive or own a car, but too cool to ride my bicycle.  My Sunday morning chore was to go to Rann’s Drug Store and pick up the newspaper.  We took a daily local paper, but bought one of the big Detroit rags on Sunday.  It was one long block and one short block to the main street, then a short block that included the railroad crossing and another short block to the store.

I was just about on the tracks when the signal started so I just maintained my gait and started up the little rise going into town.  Dr. Morris, the local dentist was either going or coming back from the same errand when I saw him several yards ahead of me.  He had detected a car coming through town at a high rate of speed and was just pointing at it when I saw him.  I barely had time to see the car before it was past me, but I followed it with my eyes until it disappeared into the coupling area between the two segments of the engine of a high speed freight train balling toward Morrice.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I turned and ran back toward the tracks.  I saw the car a couple hundred yards down the right-of-way and some 25 feet from the tracks.  I went up to it and encountered a sight that is as vivid in my mind as I write this as it was that Sunday.  The driver had been thrown from the car and was on the ground near the driver’s seat.  Inside were two little boys perhaps 5 and 7 years old.  One child was still breathing.  All three bodies were broken and bloody.  Two little toy guns were in the wreckage.

I don’t remember anything for the next period.  I think my senses were overloaded and mercifully shut down for a while.  Dr. Morris was just behind me and others showed up very soon.  Someone recognized the driver and called the farmer he worked for.  Turns out the two children belonged to the farmer and were out for a Sunday spin with the hired hand.  Someone offered that he had been known to race trains before.

The second child stopped struggling for breath before the farmer got there.  When he arrived he picked up one of the children, fell to his knees and rocked him back and forth.  The last image I carried away from that tragedy was of a lady who contributed Perry news to the local newspaper.  She was repeatedly trying to get facts from the farmer as he rocked.



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