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Author: Subject: I was 'there' in a round-about way.

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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 03:22 AM
Oct. 29, 1971

I was in my kitchen, when my husband came in, white as a sheet.
He was clearly in shock. His normally Ga. Tanned skin was totally devoid of color.

My husband was a construction worker. I had seen him, almost in this condition, several times before, but never this bad.

The other times, it was when he'd heard of some construction worker in the state being buried alive in a pit cave-in. He wasn't a person to get rattled, easily, but the one thing he seemed to fear, above all else, was the idea of being buried in a pit cave in. The company he worked for, was non-union, and there were no shoreings in the pits he usually worked in, up to 15 feet deep, operating a heavily vibrating boring rig.

Other times when he'd come in, pale, were when he, himself, had had to frantically go scrambling up out of a pit as the walls began to collapse.

This time, he was even more upset.
I was over 7 mo. pregnant.
My baby's life had been a constant worry since I first learned I was pregnant, shortly after being exposed to German measles. I'd almost lost my baby several times. I had another child, 5, from an earlier marriage.

I asked my husband what was 'wrong' ?
He didn't seem to hear me, at first, he just stared off into space like he was watchiing something I couldn't see, but when he did speak, it was to softly say "A kid.......a kid ran under my truck...........and he's dead.......!"

I sat down heavily in a kitchen chair. a child was dead ?????
I pictured a toddler, perhaps darting under my husband's truck, unseen, until it was too late.
My heart was suddenly in my throat, I felt faint, but I wasn't the fainting type.

I finally asked him how 'Old' the 'kid' was ?
He shook his head, as if to try and clear his mind of something, so he could answer me.
"24"
24 ? but that was my husband's age !!!
I was confused.

I wanted to hear what had happened, so he told me:

He had been in ( a company truck) waiting for the hill to clear ahead, so he could turn onto (the road where the co. he worked for, was) when the hill was clear, he finally made the turn, but well into it, he suddenly heard a crash, (back in the intersection).
He stopped his truck, and jumped out to run back to see if he could help in some way.

He hadn't felt any impact, so it never crossed his mind he might be involved in any way, he was just trying to help who-ever was. He said the 'first' thing he saw was a bike "racing like crazy" so he reached over and turned it off. Then he saw 'the kid'.....the thing that stood out in his mind, the most, was "blond hair, and so much blood" Before he had time to think, beyond that, a car crested the hill, and stopped, and "a girl came flying out of it, toward me, crying, and screaming "you killed my husband !!! You killed my husband!!"

He really didn't tell me anymore than that. Just added that the police had told him to come home, and inform his family, and they wanted him back at the station later that evening.

When we went over there, there was a metal, spiral stair, going up through the floor, to the police station. My husband told me to go ahead of him, so if I lost my balance (with my ackward pregnancy) he could catch and steady me, from behind. I remember my head clearing the upper floor, and seeing the officers sitting around, they looked toward me curiously, but as soon as i assended far enough for them to see my condition, they scrambled to provide a chair for me.

Then they saw my husband, behind me.
All of a sudden they were falling all over themselves to assure me everything was going to be okay. They told me/us that they'd gone over my husband's truck with a fine tooth comb, and there was absolutely NO evidence of impact, of any kind. They said the driver behind my husband, had told them that he'd waited to make his turn, Only when that hill was absolutely free of traffic.

They told me details of how D. A. happened to be, where he was, when he was, going as fast as he was. (the speed limit on that road is 35 mph...it could afford to be even lower, due to it's dips and drop-offs) they said they estimated that D. A. was going in excess of 55 mph, when his bike lost contact with the pavement, on (that last drop off) and he apparently became airborn. They said a car, going the speed limit, would have hugged the pavement, but the (lighter bike) going faster, couldn't. They said that my husband's truck, (for the most part) had cleared the intersection enough that a car could have gotten around him without getting into the other lane, but a car, going the speed limit, wouldn't have arrived at that point, until the intersection was well clear, in any case.

They indicated that at first it had been believed that D. A. had turned his wheel to try and avoid impact with the truck, but further investigation revealed he had been airborn, and likely never had a chance to (think along those lines) and that the wheel turned aside on it's own, when it re-made contact with the pavement, below the hill.....They indicated that was common in bike accidents where a bike loses contact with the pavement.

They assured us, that there was nothing to worry about. They had found no proof that my husband had been guilty of anything more than "being in the wrong place, at the wrong time" and there was nothing for them to press charges on him for.

They sent us home with words of encouragement, not to worry. They had even found some treat for my 5 yr old, while we were there, but I no-longer remember exactly what that was.

In the weeks that followed, I tried not to follow the evening news reports. We didn't get the local paper, the Macon Telegraph. But my husband had opportunity to see it, at work, and broght home some clipping which I still had up until about a half doz. years ago.

The girl who'd run at him screaming about her 'husband', filed a lawsuit, claiming, as his wife, she was entitled to (money) His real (ex) wife stepped forward, and said his relationship to the girl, was not a legal one, that the was his common-law-wife, and she (the ex) didn't feel she should be entitled to Anything,........however.....her daughter, from her legal marriage to him, should be entitled to (money) based on her father's projected future earnings. The sum one of them wanted ( i forget which, perhaps, both) was 3 million dollars...........

Even though my husband and his company were absolved from any blame, the insurance company, paid off 100,000 to/for the daughter's future needs. To this day, I fail to understand why they'd do that, unless they feared the cost of the whole thing getting drug out for years, and it costing them more, to prove they shouldn't have to pay, anything.

My baby was born Christmas Day.
My husband, a work-aholic Illinois Farmboy, never lived to see his 30th Bd.
He died, in a traffic accident, on I-16, on Nov. 11, 1976,....exactly, 4 years to the day, from Berry Oakley's accident.

'Accrosstownbar' was right. He was a 'straight arrow' a family man. There was a song that was popular at the time, by Glen Campbell, and he was always singing it to me, when it came on the radio,....I don't remember the name, but the line he always sang to me was "and if the good lord is kind, you'll be the last thing on my mind" in the months after his loss, I cried every time it came un-expected on the radio. Eventually I just turned off the radio.......was I the last thing on his mind ? Yes, I'm sure of it.

It's my understanding (from his accident report) that there were a few moments before he died, when he knew he was going to...(the driver said he'd fallen asleep, at the wheel, and work up to my husband desperately trying to wrest the wheel out of his hands, and turn it from the interstate bridge support they were heading straight at)

The driver survived.
The accident report said they'd had to wait til he regained conciousness, to ask him if his passenger had been black or white. There wasn't much left to cremate, but I had followed his wishes about that, and scattered his ashes in a lovely place in the N. Ga. mountains he'd loved so much. The place is still safe and beautiful, and will remain so for as long as I live.
I eventually re-married, but not until after my youngest left for college, earned by himself, from scholarships .

My present husband is a good man. More alike than he knows, to the one I lost. He doesn't live with a ghost. He lives with a legacy that he understands needed to have gone, before, in order make me the person he fell in love with, and make me determined not to marry, again, until I'd found a man as good for me, as the one I lost, or better.
He understands.

Today, he came home, and announced "There was an Allman Bros. song on the radio, when i was coming home.......I always liked that one"
.....funny, i didn't think I knew any......but it turns out I knew many, I just hadn't realized I did.

I hope I've set some of the record straight, filled in some of the places it was sketchy, or downright wrong. the only 'peaches' that truck ever 'carried' were in a brown paper sack in the front seat.
Windsinger

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 05:25 AM
bless you windsinger

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 09:32 AM
Wow,very moving.Thanks for coming here to share that with us.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:05 AM
Windsinger, as a huge fan of Duane Allman and The Allman Brothers Band, I most certainly appreciate you coming here to share your story. Thank you for coming forward.

As gut wrenching as it had to be for your husband, and as gut wrenching as it was for the surviving band members, Duane's death, as it has been speculated and discussed for years, was probably brought on by carelessness on Duane's part, as hard as it might be to accept that fact. I haven't read a single account in any books or magazines on The Allman Brothers, or internet discussions about what happened that day on Hillcrest that squarely blamed the accident on your husband. So, from this fan's perspective, there are no hard feelings, ill will or anything of that nature towards your husband. As you said, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As was Duane. It was an unfortunate accident. I'm very sorry to learn that your husband passed away in an accident in 1976. I hope he had found peace with what happened on 10/29/71.

I'd like to wish you and your family PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS and have a VERY, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:21 AM
Yes, God bless you, windsinger.

Thanks, Dave, for sharing with her much of what I feel. For years there were conflicting stories about what happened that day, though, and I did see some misinterpretations that did take the blame off of Duane and put it on your late husband. Eventually, though, enough facts were established that it was clear that Duane was plain going too fast, and your late husband was unfortunate to be involved in such a terrible incident.

Thank you, though, for more of the details of the incident itself and on how it affected you and your family. I'm sorry to hear about another young man's death (on Berry's anniversary, no less), but it sounds like you've worked through all the grief and built a happy life and loving family.

Merry Christmas!

 

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this is called 'I Must Have Did Somebody Wrong.'
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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:27 AM
Windsinger,

I also thank you for stepping forward & sharing your knowledge. Your husband's reaction to what happened that day show he was a man of character & morality. I am sorry that your family had to live through such a terrible ordeal, only to be followed with more tragedy some years later.

The people of this website offer support to one another through good times & bad. I hope you find comfort here among us.

Peace~!

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:40 AM
Windsinger, May the Creator of all life bless you. what a tough time this had to have been for you and your family, But there is no one at fault no one to blame just life and it's mysteries. When my brother died at 17 i blamed myself the story is not important ,it was not my fault but it took a long time to really understand this ,Life is a Mystery and we all are part of it..thank you so much for sharing a part of your life with so many great people who come to these boards..

for all the loved ones i have lost and all that others have lost this always conforted me...

Do not stand at my grave and Weep.
I am not there i do not Sleep.

I am a Thousand Winds that Blow.
I am the Diamond Glint on Snow.

I am the Sunlight On Ripened Grain.
I am the Gentle Autumn Rain.

When you Awaken in the Mournings Hush,
I am the Swift Uplifting Rush.

Of quiet birds in Circled Flight.
I am the soft StarsThat shine at Night.

Do not Stand at my grave and Cry.
I am Not There, I did Not Die.

Author Unknown

 

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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:53 AM
Windsinger, thanks...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 10:56 AM
Thank you for sharing.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 01:20 PM
^^BUMP^^

This has been posted to the Duane forum section also, but was expounded on a little bit by the author.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 01:29 PM
Once again, thank you.

 

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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 01:35 PM
Peace be with you,Windsinger.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/20/2006 at 01:55 PM
Thanks for sharing this, Windsinger. This tragedy affected you and your family as much as it did the many others who cared about Duane - we never know when or how tragedy will drop in our laps and there is no use in asking why. Sorry to hear about the passing of your 1st husband, W, but glad to hear life has again blessed you...peace

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 01:24 AM
Rydethwind.
It seems that your lovely poem has been attributed to Mary Frye, from around 1932

When I read it, though, I was sure it was one of my favorite poets, from the same time,......Sarah Teasdale.

If this is the style of the poems you favor, do a search for Sarah's lovely works.
You will love them.
When I was a teen, I commited dozens of her's to memory.

When Chuck died, the only words I allowed said over/in his memory were three of her writing, which fit the way I felt at the time

At his father's funeral, a year after the DA situation, Chuck had gotten disgusted listening to the minister's praising words said to pacify all, praising the man's goodness, as a father and husband, over 30 minutes worth by a man who'd never known him.

Chuck's father had walked him to the door, the day he had graduated HS, and told him "My obligation to you, is done. You have stayed here long enough to be fed, clothed, and educated. "
and while Chuck (and his twin), had waited to hear what the significance of being walked to the door was all about, paired with the speech....
The man informed them they were to join a branch of the military, (before the week was out) as he had no intention of supporting them further. If, by the end of the week, they still had not done so, he was "signing them into the Army"

They Knew, with the Viet Nam War going on, in the 60s, that any son signed into the Army by a father was considered by the military as un-wanted family trash being thrown out, so the military would be sure to shove them to the front lines for quick disposal.

Both boys knew their father was dead serious. They signed up as quickly as they could. Chuck with the USAF (hense his being in Macon when I met him, via the Robins USO)fresh back from Nam) and his brother in a different branch.

Sorry for the side-track.
The point is, Chuck was angry and resentful enough, by the kind words being said about his cruel father, (by an admitted stranger to the man, no less !) that I had to all but force him not to get up and stalk out of the service.

He later, made me promise, that if anything ever happened to him, that i would not, let a stranger, get up and speak of his life. He made me promise, that any words spoken, would be one's I either authored, or supplied and approved.

So, at his service, I had chosen 3 of her's. (and now I can't find them)

I too lost a beloved 17 yr old brother (a year or so before C's loss).
No one was at fault. (He made an un-wise choice to put a propane construction heater in the front seat of a car with him after he pulled off the side of the road, when he realized he was too sleepy to drive, one cold Dec. night returning home from Atlanta.
Then he rolled the windows up tight, and curled up on the seat to sleep awhile)

ANY of us might have done that, after several nights of no sleep, so the decision really can't be blamed on his youth.

I firmly believe we're here, for a set amount of time, and when our time is up, well, it just means we've done everything we came here to do. I've heard it said, that the married partner left behind, winds up, eventually, angry at the one who left them.

Who, in the world came up with this silly non-sense idea.
Angry at C ? Lordy, !!! There's a story I wish I could share with y'all about something that happened to me, re. Chuck, and a dream, about a week before that first Christmas without him.....I wish i could tell, but I don't know folks here, well enough, yet, to share such a personal thing. Suffice to say he came to me, in that strange half-dream/half waking twilight between the two, and because of what he said to me, I awoke the moment he 'left' again..... and I awoke laughing !!!!

The man had The most delightfully mischievous sense of humor.........there's not a doubt in my mind that a combination of that, and his love, had allowed him the few moments to come to me, to make me laugh, one-more-time and let me know he was 'okay' . Perhaps it was ment to be a last Christmas gift, the words and grin that shattered my grief for the rest of that day, and made me understand that I'd survive, what-ever was ahead, if I could just get through the interim.


No, I never morned for his loss to himself, only for my own , of losing him from the reality of my own world. The lightness of heart he introduced into my life, when I most needed it, the endless moments of self-abandoned peels of laughter he inspired in me.......THOSE are the Treasures to hold tightly to !!!

There was a poem, I won't name the author

Blessings
For heaven's sake
don't pity me
for love I've had and lost.

The years were good!
the time was sweet!
whatever it has cost.

To pity me would
cloud the time
the time I treasure so

I've had his smile
I had his heart
His spirit didn't go !

So waste no tears
or sympathy for days
I didn't lose.

I wouldn't trade
a single one, for tears
I couldn't use.

(rdw, 12-21-06)

Consider that my thankyou, and my answer, for all the kindness I never expected to ever discover when I came here.

and girl, our brothers, and my mate,.......look at their lives,......they didn't really leave them unfinished, not really. As long as we learned from them, when they touched Our lives, we carry them with us like butter flies, beautiful and lightly on our shoulders, letting them watch over our world from where-ever they are.

Haven't we been lucky to have known them !!!!

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 07:39 AM
Thank you for blessing us with your presence here windsinger. Your eloquence & gentle demeanor have truly moved me, & helped me find Christmas feeling today.

Peace~!

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 09:19 AM
What a tragedy all the way around.... There are always so many facets to any situation...Thank You for so eloquently stating what you know and sharing it with all of us.
God Bless you and family.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year..

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 11:00 AM
Windsinger, Thank you so much for passing this information along to the folks here i will be sure and look her up . For some reason that Poem just always has stuck with me and i find times that i feel i am supposed to pass it on. Being from Native American family it just kind of reflects what my beliefs are no one ever dies they just go to a different place ,and as long as we have their memories and we feel them around us they are here,and i so much agree with you that i want no one who does not know me saying words over me,No sir i want my friends to just reflect for a few seconds and remember one little thing we did together...

My Brother, was a great Kid just unfortunate that he was born the second child and the R,H blood factor was not understood like it is today,so when he came to this world he has some health issues because of the R My Brother passed away 5 days before he was scheduled to go to Bethesda Naval Hospital for another open heart operation,he had told me and my parents that he did not want to have another operation...i have never written about this till now ,funny how one persons tradegy opens anothers mind to things long past...

Bless you sister and i hope you and yours have a very safe and wonderfull holiday and that we never forget those that have taught us so much ...Peace Mike

 

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  posted on 12/22/2006 at 11:12 AM

Windsinger,
Let me add my voice to the chorus to thank you for your story. Best wishes for a long & happy life for you & your family! Peace be with you & yours.

Take care, be well, PEACH!

 

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