For all the complaining many of us do about the press interjecting opinion into news stories, there are times when it is appropriate.
Several lives were forever changed Thursday, July 28 as the result of a fatal car accident on Washington County roads.
1960 saw the death of a close friend in a dumb car wreck. It is about 42 miles from Steamboat Springs, CO to Craig, CO. How fast you could drive it was a local tradition. Boasts of doing it in 22 minutes abounded but were probably bullshit. There are few straight sections more than two miles in length, two small towns along the way (three at that time), and a section along a cliff prone to rock slides.
My friend, Tad Brown, was one of two passengers in a red 1960 Chevy convertible. The driver’s parents were wealthy. The driver was going to set a new record. Just outside of Steamboat, westbound, he hit a mailbox set in a milk can full of cement, dead center of his steering column, breaking it. The car went into the ditch and started rolling. The driver and one passenger survived. Tad didn’t.
Tad was one of my first friends when my parents settled in Steamboat. His sister, Ginger, was my first crush. His father, a Chiropractor, moved his practice to Craig. Despite the distance, Tad, Ginger and I stayed in touch. Alas, Ginger found a boyfriend in Craig.
Tad’s parents held an open casket funeral. The Mortuary did not do any cosmetic work. We high schoolers walked by and saw a face so battered as to be unrecognizable. You can only guess how many attitudes were adjusted that afternoon. I know mine was. While I never talked to his parents, I’m sure that was the effect they wanted; to keep some other parents from knowing their grief.
We humans never know why fate takes one of us and not another, or us. Maybe we must die to find out. My hope is I will never bury one of my children.