It was a beautiful summer evening in the spring of 1957.
Jeff Morris was in the bathroom when Barry McDonald came by to pick him for a ride with the gang. He was driving his father's new Impala.
Jeff could not be rushed and the kids were impatient to get going, so they left without him.
That particular beautiful evening turned into the worst night in the town's history. Everyone was in shock. Everyone knew someone in the car.
AS REPORTED IN THE NEW TOWNE ADVOCATE:
Four young people died when their Chevy Impala convertible slammed into a telephone pole on Hillside Road, Friday night. It was traveling at 80 MPH.
The vehicle was crushed beyond recognition. Miraclously, the driver was thrown from the car. The other passengers, all members of the class of 1954 were killed.
ONE WEEK LATER:
With the approval of the families of the dead boys, the town fathers decided to place the bloody wreck in the middle of the 'Square'.
We passed it every day. The message was clear.
Barry McDonald lived with his guilt. He was seldom seen around town.
Jeff Morris became an attorney and a selectman in the town where he grew up.
* I searched for pictures of similar wrecks, but this was about as close as I could come. Actually, the car looked as if had been crushed in a giant hand. There was little form left. Just a heap of blue metal.
This is a true story. Names of people. town and year have been changed to provide anonymity.
After reading a post today, by Dianne Schuch - Lindsey, about teen age drivers, I thought about my comment. It had to do with my own kids using an old station wagon as their mode of transportation. Afterwards, I remembered why.
The image of that wreck in the town square has stayed with me for my entire life time. They say that pictures are better than words. How about a metal tomb holding the spirits of four dead boys.