Saturday, August 11, 2007

HOW CRASH-ME -BOY EARNED HIS NAME by pops

HOW CRASH-ME-BOY EARNED HIS NAME by pops

The last many years our occasional (average monthly) phone conversations have usually ended--

Easy does it, Crash.
Easy don't do it, Dad.
Easy does it, Crash.
Easy don't do it, Dad.
Easy does it, Crash.
Easy don't do it, Dad.

But the last 6 to 9 months

Easy does it, Crash.
Yup, easy does it, Dad.
Easy does it, Crash.
Yup, easy does it, Dad.

has prevailed.

His nickname was coined by my dear double cousin Russell, the proprietor of the family farm just outside Fitchburg Mass from 1970 to 2001 who in that period had over 200 employees and was a great student of human and animal nature and personal friend to all a we sheltered under the umbrella of his being. After me boys third significant "accident" in 3 years, Russell started calling him "Crash" and I routered a "Crash Hill" sign to mark the spot where he totaled my 69 Ford one ton van.

The first "accident" was June 1986 when under Russell's care on the farm while I was renovating an apartment in NYC, me boy caught his T shirt in the gear of the turning mechanism of a 1000 gallon milk tank. I rushed back in the night, met him in the hospital and was told he was walking by the tank and it grabbed him though it was on side of the tank against the wall and we all suspect he was enjoying a free back rub as the gears mixed the milk. The surgeon said he had the maximum possible damage without permanent disability.

The second "accident" occurred the next summer just above Lower Ausable Lake in the Adirondacks. We had just boated up a 3 mile lake and were beginning a portage to the next lake to join friends for a wilderness experience when me boy slipped and tore off a flap of skin below his knee. Boating back, busing out, and driving to Lake Placid took over 3 hours where the ER doctor told us it was the only place in the body that could be cut so much without bleeding to death in that time.

So-- summer 1988 me boy and I were living in a 14 by 20 foot one time convenience store that my cousin had bought ten years before and placed at the edge of a drumlin out behind the heifer barn. Skinny was the main occupant for years but facing time for his third DWI he climbed out a courthouse window and fled to a back water farm in Benson Vermont. I cleaned it up (2 dump truck loads including a roadkill cat named "flats") and made it my home away from home for years. Me boy slept on a mattress on the floor until one day we made a platform bed at a woodshop at my aunt's a mile down the highway.

Happy from our accomplishment I stopped in the parking lot of the ice cream stand perhaps 200 yards from the bunkhouse and told me boy he could drive the rest of the way. ( I started driving hay trucks on the farm at age 9, Russell at age 6) We crept up the drive, the van having a an automatic trans and a big V8 but turning left up a hill I said to step on the gas a little. Crash floored it and we headed straight for the tall silo. Picturing it toppling on us I reached toward the brake and and turned the wheel away only to hit the abutment of a trench silo. I sat in silence with Crash saying, "Dad, you are not saying anything---- Dad, you are not saying anything."

((note, the abutment pushed the radiator into the steering box, which would not necessarily total the vehicle but the box had already been welded and could not be done again.))

3 comments:

John said...

Great stories, Van. Good 'ole John...

Get better soon, John!

Carmen

E said...

Ahh Crash... That milking machine scar is a serious one. Straight outta a horror movie.

Rebecca Leonard said...

As an Adirondacker, I can sympathize with the long drive to the ER. I hope he's ok!