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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

I Was Hit by a Car, First!

Posted July 25, 2007 7:22 a.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2007 9:12 a.m. EDT



This is a follow-up to Tuesday's story about getting hit by an airplane.  This is actually a bit more detailed and serious.

I can still feel the cool, moist autumn air on my skin. I was about five years old. But I felt like a veteran warrior of the American frontier. On my head was a brand new Daniel Boone Coon Skin Cap- a gift from my father who had just returned from a business trip.

I was so excited about showing my new headgear to the older kids across the street. North Anderson Street. Morganton. Finally, I could impress them. Finally, I could be accepted as one of them. A cool kid in the neighborhood.

I had an agreement with my parents. No crossing that street without their escort. But today the adrenaline flowed like never before. I'm a big boy and I can conquer the world. No need for parental supervision. I'll just dart across that street and lay claim to the adoration of those arrogant older kids.

That's the last I remember until several hours later. A car driven my a Mr. Hudson plowed into me, The impact shattered his left headlight according to news reports. A young boy lay unconscious on the pavement.

The ambulance came and crews rushed me to Grace Hospital. While in intensive care my mother slipped away next door to Grace Episcopal Church to pray that I would be all right. In those innocent days of low crime the doors of Grace Church were open around the clock for people who might want a moment of private worship.

When my mother returned to the hospital her little boy was sore but awake and wondering what happened. Mr. Hudson was there with some toys that delighted me. I apologized for busting his headlight. I also apologized to my parents for disobeying them and nearly scaring them to death.

My mother gave thanks for that open door at Grace Church. In honor of her love and faith I wrote a song called "Open Door" and put it on the Bragh Adair album "The Hunt.".