Smith Hill Chronicles
Smith Hill Chronicles
I recently made contact with a friend from High School, Cathy, a girl who was the girl friend of a guy one class ahead of me. She and I didn't have any classes together, not that I remember anyway, but since the whole bunch of us were “party buddies” in the extreme, we spent a LOT of time together; skipping school, drinking and doing all the things that the rebellious kids of the early '70's did, and in the process made a lot of good memories, some of which are hard to remember ha ha....plus with me taking piano lessons, and playing piano for a lot of party type stuff and learning to play rock music, we were products of the time.
There were some memories made along the way that were not so good, but for the most part, we were just non conformists, late blooming “hippies”. It was a time when “street drugs” were for the most part not deadly, but were fairly readily available, even in, or especially in, a small town in South Georgia.
It has been the “catching her up “ with my life that has engendered this post.
In that Senior year of High School, my Daddy died of injuries incurred in an auto wreck, one in which I was the driver of the car we were riding in. He suffered grievous injuries, and was in the intensive care ward of “Candler General” (I think) in Savannah Ga for 3 weeks and 3 days before he died, the whole time on a ventilator, which meant he couldn't speak. He kept trying though, which tore me apart.
You see, even though everyone tried to convince me that it wasn't my fault, that it really was just a matter of bad timing and a combination of circumstances; to me, it was my fault. I was the driver. If anyone COULD have done anything that would have changed the outcome, it was ME.
His death left me, and my family shattered.
Ours was a blended family; “His, Hers and Ours”, with my Sister Linda and I being the “Ours”. Daddy had never legally adopted “Hers” and he didn't leave a will, so when the “Estate” went to probate court, “Hers” were left completely out of the equation. The “His”, never having accepted my Mother nor “Hers”, were instantly suspicious of Mama when she went to the bank, the first business day after the Funeral. My brother had talked with someone who said, Daddy had once confided that he had a LARGE amount of money invested in stocks and bonds. They figured Mama had gone and gotten them for herself.
This lead the “His” to get their own lawyer, and they sued ME and the other driver for the wrongful death of our Father. By doing so, all that was accomplished was the drawing out of settling the estate to nearly 2 yrs, and taking about $30,000 from US, and giving it to the Lawyers.
In the year or so prior to the accident, my Daddy and I were frequently at loggerheads. Since he was from a totally different generation, a different paradigm, he just couldn't understand how I thought, why I did things, didn't understand the music I listened to, the friends I had nor the things we did that WE thought were “fun”.
I did a lot of drugs, quite a bit of LSD and “Shrooms”, and there were always the horror stories of “Flash Backs” where someone would just suddenly for no apparent reason start “tripping” again, most often with dire consequences. In retrospect, I've never HEARD of anyone having a flashback or suffering those "Dire Consequences" in other than dubious news stories.
I had often day dreamed what it would be like “some day” when I inherited all the land, and the house, which of course meant that Daddy had to be dead; not that I was wishing him so, at least not consciously.
Therein lies the crux of my dilemma; had I somehow, unconsciously blocked out the sight of the oncoming car? Had I caused the wreck by my “non reaction”?
I spent many years looking for the answers to those questions in the bottom of many liquor bottles. I never found any answers there, but eventually, after many rehabs, much counseling and a lot of patient support from family, I did manage to get free of alcohol and drugs, so that part of the story does have a good, if not happy, ending
About the author:
I write poetry, which I hope is inspirational.
I am also a working musician, in that I am an old guy who is still making money working and playing music.
I've been playing now for 51 yrs
These days I mainly play for older folks in Nursing Home, Assisted Living and Retirement Communities, plus the occasional party or wedding.