When my parents were dating, they sometimes double dated with my mom’s sister, Evelyn, and her husband, George. They would go to formal affairs, such as the military ball, but more often they went to movies. Family was important to all of them, and sometimes the best double date is your family.
One night, Mom, Dad, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George went to the movies. The had a great time and were enjoying their visit on the way home. My dad had driven that night, and so he and my mom were taking Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George to their Mills home, before he would take my mom home.
It was a beautiful moonless night. They drive past The Wagon Wheel skating rink, and around the corner to the railroad track. At that time, there was no signal light or gate. As they started to cross the track, something caught Uncle George’s eye. Thankfully for all of them, he knew what it was. He yelled, “Train!” My Dad instinctively turned the wheel in the same direction as the train was going, and the car was dragged along beside the train until the train was able to stop.
My dad was normally a very calm man, but this was no normal situation. Dad got out of the car and threw down the popcorn he had been holding in his lap. He went up to the engineer, and started yelling at him. You see, the engineer didn’t have the headlight turned on in the engine, and remember that it was a moonless night with limited lighting in the area.
The engineer insisted that it wasn’t his fault. The police were called, and a representative from the railroad showed up. They argued the matter back and forth, but even with the 4 people in my dad’s car insisting that the engine had no headlight on, the railroad wouldn’t step up and do the right thing. The accident was deemed my dad’s fault.
So, after a very frustrating investigation, the couples were cleared to go. They got back into the car, which was thankfully, ok to drive, and my dad started looking around. He searched for several minutes, and them my mom asked, “What are you looking for?” To which my dad answered, “My popcorn!!” They all began to laugh then and told him that he had thrown it on the ground when he got out of the car, because he was so mad at the engineer. You can imagine Dad’s surprise. He simply didn’t remember throwing the popcorn down, because of the shock of the whole situation. It would be the one thing they could laugh about when they thought back on the train wreck.