Tuesday, April 5, 2016


This beautiful old Mercedes was both one of my Dad's favorite vehicles, and also almost my deathtrap. My Dad loved this diesel-engined car, purchased in Charleston I think form a crew mate, and it lasted the family until about 1975, when my mother and I were almost killed (or at least seriously injured) in an accident. He loved that fuel was cheap for it, and I suppose because he knew diesel engines better than any other (because he always served on diesel subs). In Tampa, while driving down Gunn Highway, just past Citrus Park, a heavy flat hay trailer (that had not been secured, was on wrong ball, no chains, illegal driver, and a host of other miscues) unhitched itself when crossing some railroad tracks, and slammed directly into our left front axle. An inch to the left or right and we may hav been dead, and at best my mom and I might have lost our legs. My my was badly battered and bruised, and I somehow struck the ashtray with the left side of my face at the temple and was streaming blood, but we were very lucky. Not so for Betsy.

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