during the mid 1960's in far northeast Texas an auto accident occurred late one
Friday evening. It happened along old highway US 82 west of Texarkana
somewhere between DeKalb and
Avery, near Oak Grove. It was
in late autumn, maybe November. Days were considerably shorter, cloudy and nightfall
had come a bit earlier, along with rain.
Not only had darkness come earlier,
it had been raining for about a week. Highway shoulders were muddy and soft. The
pavement was wet and real slick. The ditches were filled with water. Certainly
not favorable driving conditions even for the best and most alert drivers. Often
described as the ‘stay at home’ hazardous type stuff.
Since I was a kid,
I have heard that alcohol and gasoline don’t mix. I definitely think it not advisable
to try. Don’t you? Texas has a recent publicity campaign
about, “DWI - You Can’t Afford It.”
If drinkers are going to be out drinking
and driving Friday evenings after work, or anytime for that matter, these aren’t
the best weather and traffic conditions to do something already taboo in the first
place. But good times, partying friends and alcohol frequently overrule the best
human judgment and accidents, sometimes serious, do occur. A sad situation, indeed,
and highly unaffordable!
The speeding car had run off the pavement onto
the roads soft shoulder. Losing control, the driver ran out into the water filled
ditch. There the car flipped over a time or two. Luckily, having their seat belts
on, the occupants remained secure in the car until it stopped upright.
Local law enforcement officers investigating this accident, say it wasn’t the
worst kind of accident, none-the-less, bad enough. No one was seriously injured
and the traffic tie up was minimal during the peak traffic period in a rural area.
The owner of the vehicle, quite disheveled and reeking with the smell
of alcohol and with no drivers license, still remained at the scene and told officers
he wasn’t driving the car. “No, I wasn’t driving, but, a ‘friend’ of mine was”,
he said. Believe it or not!
The owner’s “friend”, a new found drinking
buddy he had befriended at the “icehouse” in New
Boston was known only to him as Rufus. He and Rufus, traveling along enjoying
drinks and conversation, had discussed driving on farther west to Dallas.
There they could spend the weekend where supposedly Rufus had relatives living
near the Texas State Fair Grounds.
Gone with the wine, by now Rufus had
already left the scene and after an extensive search, neither he nor their alcohol
were anywhere to be found. Nor did the owner have any idea where to find either
Officers had to call a tow truck to pull the wrecked car and
take it to a storage facility. Without proof or his admission he was actually
driving the car, still, the owner was arrested and jailed for the weekend in Bowie
The charge...... Public Intoxication.... For months afterwards,
local officers found humor in that “gone with the wine” story.
February 1, 2011 Column