It was horrific – the aftermath of my grandfather hitting Logan Creek bridge just seconds after leaving the driveway. My grandmother was with him. To the world they were Robert and Cecilia Pearson, but to me and the rest of the grandchildren – Momo and Popo.
Though they were early risers, I imagine they arose even earlier that day, to have breakfast and get dressed up a bit, not Sunday-go-to-meetin’ nice, but better than their everyday wear. After all, they were headed to town. No doubt ready before time to leave, Popo would have sat in his chair flipping through a paper he had already read and Momo might have picked up her crochet hook to add another row of stitches.
Then it was time. Popo may have put on a hat as Momo picked up her purse. Out the door they proudly went to get into their blue 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne. I know how they felt, on a mission driving themselves in their own car. The longer I live the more I cherish that aspect of my independence.
It was Popo’s last time to have that experience. The highway patrol took his keys and gave them to my dad. It isn’t clear exactly what occurred, but if you know the bridge on 160E-8 you know it is narrow and in a curve. A vehicle was approaching from the west as Popo approached from the east. He steered a bit to the right to clear the center line. Maybe he intended to wait until the oncoming vehicle passed. Instead he hit the bridge at a greater speed than expected, perhaps from inadvertntly hitting the gas instead of the brake. My grandmother had placed both hands on the dash to brace herself. The impact broke her arms. For weeks and weeks – night and day – she endured both outstretched in casts attached to her waist.
Their intended mission that day? To vote. Each time I do that, I sense their legacy and feel a responsibility to carry it on. I will get up early, too, in hopes of avoiding a long line. I will don a mask and keep my distance. In comparison, nothing worth complaining about. The Prospect-News published the ballot in the July 22nd issue. It is in this issue as well. I have done my research. I am ready to vote. Are you? Will you?