Tuesday, June 14, 2005

WTW: Vacation Gone Bad

White Trash WednesdaysLast week, I was telling you about some of the vacations I had planned in the past and what me and the woman I'm living with were planning this year. And it got me to thinking. Not every pleasure trip ends up happy. One I went on was the worst disaster in my hometown's history.

It was, gosh, about ten years ago, that me and some girl I was seeing was planning a get-away. We were going to go to Daytona Beach. And, being the vacation wiz I am, I come up with a way to get it at a good price.

We had just finished eating at the Western Sizzlin' restaurant one Friday night and I was standing in line with my coupons I had clipped from the Sentinel. Anyway, they had a couple of boxes on the counter next to the register. One was for getting a free makeover. But since she was outside lighting up a Marlboro, I wasn't going to hold things up cause the X-Files (the one with the guy that plays Mr. Monk and his shadow became alive) was on at 9:00 and I didn't want to miss it. But the other box at the register was for a trip to Daytona Beach. All I had to do was listen to a time-share speech. Heck, I could do that. So I signed up.

About three weeks later, I got a call from some guy named Stanley who wanted me and my wife to schedule the trip. I told him I wasn't married, and he stammered a little. But he went ahead and set me up.

Now, it was June by then, and I was thinking a trip with that girl would be good. Doggone if her husband didn't mess that whole plan up. And, he was a big fellow and a mean fellow, to boot. I was thinking the best thing I could do was get the heck out of town for a bit.

So, anyway I had this friend who worked at the airport and he said he would fly me out. It was a small plane he had, not sure what kind. But it had a propeller and wings and could fly and that was good enough for me. Turned out to not be a good idea.

We took off from the airport south of town, and we took off in a storm. You see, the girl's husband found out where I was and followed me out to the airport. So, he was getting out of his car with a shotgun and the wind was blowing and lightning in the area. Anyway, my buddy took off and we headed north, towards town.

Like I said, the weather was rough, and my buddy the pilot had been drinking a little. Anyway, he had trouble with the airplane after just a few minutes, and we began losing altitude. He fought it for a bit, as we came low over the courthouse. Suddenly, right in our way was the new water tower, right near the old water tower, and my buddy, already flying way too low, lost complete control and we crashed.

We hit some pines and oaks at the edge of the cemetary and that actually helped out a little, but we did crash into the cemetary. Folks came to help us out, and me and my buddy was shook up quite a bit. I had some cuts and bruises. My buddy had a broken nose. But that was the extent of our injuries.

However, the rescue workers continued their work, recovering bodies. They dug all through that cemetary for over a week before they finally called a halt to the recovery work.

My hometown still mourns that tragic day.

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